Veterans claim council support for Doncaster gay pride unfair

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A row has erupted in Doncaster after a Veterans’ Day parade was unable to go ahead.

Last year, 3,000 former service men and women marched through Doncaster to mark the day, but this year, the event could not take place due to a “lack of amenities”, according to the local council.

The situation has angered Doncaster residents and servicemen and women, who see it as unfair that both Doncaster Pride and the Mayor’s civic parade were allowed to go ahead but the Veterans’ parade was not.

Ken Wood, 46, Coldstream Guards gunner and district secretary of the Royal British Legion said:

“All the Doncaster branches of the Legion are disgusted that there will not be a Veterans’ Day parade.

“The council do not seem to care about the achievements of servicemen and women.

“I am not homophobic but the council supported both Doncaster Pride and the Mayor’s civic parade.”

“One of our Legion members spoke to an official at the civic offices who told him we couldn’t have a parade this year because the council did not have the amenities.

“I rang the official and she effectively told me the police couldn’t afford the staff to block off the roads.

“It’s crazy, I went on the parade last year and only saw two community bobbies stopping the traffic.

“It’s hardly down to finance or manpower is it?

“We just wanted to parade our standards and colours.”

Doncaster Council, however, have denied any blame for the lack of a Veterans’ Day parade, as have the South Yorkshire police.

Both issued a joint statement yesterday saying that they had not received an official request for the Veterans’ parade.

A spokesperson for the council said:

“It is not a matter of finance or the council not wanting to do it.
“The police look into the number of parades being held and give the go-ahead on a case-by-case basis.

“We are quite happy to hold the Veterans’ parade provided the police are happy.”

Acting Chief Inspector Andy Kent of South Yorkshire Police added:

“Each request is assessed on an individual basis. We have not received a request this year about the Veterans’ Day parade.”