Epsom & Ewell Council refuse Local Regimental Parade

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by EpsomRegimental, Nov 23, 2009.

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  1. Hi all,

    I think this is the right place to be posting this, but apologies if it's not (and would a helpful Mod please move) and sorry for what could be a longish post!

    I'll admit to not being a regular on these boards apart from the odd trawl for a belly laugh or two whenever one of my service mates points out a post to me, but this is important enough to have me registering and posting for the first time.

    I'm a resident in Epsom & Ewell, just up the road from Headley Court Rehab Centre. A week or two ago, one of our local Councillors put in a proposal to Borough Council for our local Regiment, Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment, to be given the Freedom of the Borough and a parade through the town when they get back from Afghanistan.

    On the eve of Remembrance Day, and in the face of all the public support for our troops, the Committee voted against it 5 to 1.

    Their reason was that the Regimental HQ is in Guildford, and that just wasn't 'local' enough for them. Never mind Headley Court, never mind the Borough next to ours giving them Freedom of their Borough (no nearer to Guildford), and never mind the fact that the Epsom TA is attached to the regiment.

    Some of us in the town are so livid about the decision that we've started up a petition to get the Council to change their minds at the next meeting (15th December). We've been in touch with the Regiment, who tell us they would be honoured to march when the Battalion currently in Afghanistan gets back. The local paper has covered it (http://tinyurl.com/y9my8x3), and on the past two Saturdays we've been out in the town collecting signatures - we currently have over 1,000 from other residents disgusted at the attitude the Council is taking to the bravery of our armed forces.

    In order to keep things going whilst we can't be out on the streets, I've set up an online petition, which you can find here. it's not been getting the attention it should with only 50-odd signatures, but I thought by posting it up here, a few more people would like to sign and tell the Council what they think of them.

    Sign up, tell your friends, and let's get some more names! We're planning to present the petition in the House of Commons through our local MP, and will be waving it in the bastards' faces from the public gallery come the next Council meeting.


    Support Epsom & Ewell's Local Regiment
    Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=175890528436
  2. A well thought out first thread on somethnig that could have been an incandescent rant. Hope you get a result fella and good luck. Unfortunately, common sense and good intentions is often no match for mindless beauracracy.
  3. Thanks mate - we shall see! They're obviously feeling rattled about the campaign. We had Councillors coming up to us on Saturday and shouting at us in the street...
  4. see my pm mate
  5. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Don't be hard on the Epsom & Ewell Council. I live there, and attended the very impressive Parade, held this June (or thereabouts) to celebrate the homecoming from Afghanistan of the TA Soldiers from 135 Topo Sqn RE(V).

    This Unit is based in Epsom and Ewell, and they are looked after very well indeed, and have a close relationship with, not only the Council but other local bodies - they are indeed the 'local boys' in Epsom/Ewell.

    In other words - they've had one Parade this year already, which shut the whole Town centre, and involved a band, the Mayor and others on a saluting dais, etc, and I can quite see their reluctance to have another so soon after. It's not something that should happen too often, as it diminishes its impact.

    By the way, I'm an ex-PWRR Soldier myself. The PWRR have plenty of homecoming Parades, one fewer won't be a problem.

    I will not be signing any petition on this matter, sorry. The Council already do their best.
  6. It's a fair point, and I'm aware that there was a parade in June. Thing is, though, PWRR's battalion won't be back until early/mid next year, so it's not like there's a parade every weekend. The residents I've spoken to certainly seem keen on the idea. Besides, the parade isn't really the biggest gripe in all of this, it's the refusal on giving them Freedom of the Borough. That's something that the Council could do to show their appreciation, parade or not...

    Plus I'd have been slightly more forgiving of the council if they'd made this point themselves rather than banging on about Epsom being a 'local' town for 'local' people. As Joker said with his post about Ashted a year or two ago, they've got form for NIMBYism.
  7. Why? I don't understand why you want a regiment that isn't the 'local' regiment to get the freedom of the borough. It sounds more like you are using them to grind your personal axe. Lots of people come back from ops - it wouldn't make sense to give everyone every freedom of every surrounding town / borough.
  8. I have no real personal axe to grind. I'm not the Councillor that made the suggestion, just someone who thought it sad that the Council voted in this way.

    You're right, the Regiment isn't local in as much as is isn't camped out on Epsom Downs, but it is our local regiment. I feel that as they recruit in our area, are attached to the TA in our town, and were originally formed from the East Surrey Regiment, they are certainly relevant to the town and deserve our support. They should certainly be entitled to march when they get back, and the Freedom of the Borough is the only way to afford them this privilege.

    BTW - OldSnowy. The parade that you are talking about was just the Armed Forces Day parade in June. It wasn't anything specific for the TA. There has been no parade to celebrate anyone coming back from anywhere this year.
  9. I live quite local (although I come under Elmbridge council). What route is the parade to take? The roads through Epsom are shiite at best sometimes.
  10. If you feel so strongly about it, and feel you have a lot of local support, why don´t you run for election to the council? If not, you can´t really complain about a majority decision taken by the elected members of the council. Also, you were not privvy to the reasoning that led to the council decision, and neither are we, so it´s a bit premature to assume that the council is anti "Our Boys".
  11. Hi mate,

    Well done to you for standing up for this. I've signed the petitin. We need a few more as I was 54th :D
  12. Thanks mate - don't worry. The online petition is the backup. We've already collected more than 1,000 signatures in person.

    Jorrocks - I will be. Elections aren't until 2011 though, so this is the best I can manage for the moment :)
  13. there wasnt any armed force day to my knowing from either RLC or engineers local to Epsom, so snowy is right I'm afraid!
    the parade he speaks of was for the returning 135 lads and the fredom of the city they where give a few years back
  14. Actually, the parade held (right at the end of May) was a 60th anniversary of the Freedom of Epsom and Ewell parade for 135 Independent Geographic Squadron RE(V). (The name was changed from Topo to Geo some time ago).

    As OldSnowy says, the town centre was shut for quite a while for the parade causing chaos for drivers etc.

    135 are solely based in Ewell, so really are the only truly local unit.

    With the current situation of the TA in general right now, I can think of better avenues to channel your outrage at this percieved slight from the council (especially as you already have freedom of another borough).