“No change” to Remembrance Sunday events following political spat
There will be “no change” to Remembrance Sunday events in Bath, Bath and North East Somerset Council have insisted.
A political row erupted between Bath’s Conservatives and the Liberal Democrat-led council after Bath’s memorial services were included in a list of savings that could be made in the council’s budget.
Bath’s Conservative Association was quick to take to Twitter to brand the move as an insult to current and former service members. However, Liberal Democrats in the Council have insisted that Remembrance Sunday events will continue.
Resource Council Member Richard Samuel said: “There will be no change at all in the commemorations. The only thing that will change is the body that funds them.”
Conducting the annual Remembrance Sunday Parade is now undertaken by Bath’s Charter Trustees, a group which includes the Mayor and is responsible for the city’s ceremonial duties.
The list of savings, released ahead of the Council’s Business Audit Panel meeting to review the budget on Monday 30 January, says £27,000 could be saved if the Council’s Events Office decided to stop hosting events such as Remembrance Sunday and Summer Sunday, which runs it, on behalf of the Mayor’s Office and the Royal British Legion.
Councilor Samuel added: “In Bath it was funded by the Council so people in North East Somerset paid for Bath’s [event]but now it is paid for by the Charter Trustees.”
Bath Conservatives continued to criticize the move, posting on Twitter: “[Bath and North East Somerset Council] washes hands to support it: the cost and organization will now be fully delegated to the Mayor of Bath and his team of two.”
A spokesman for the Liberal Democrat Group insisted: “We can absolutely assure everyone that the budget for Memorial Sunday will not be cut.
“We’re reconciling it in Bath and other areas [Bath and North East Somerset] So the Charter Trustees are meeting in Bath to agree to fund it as Keynsham City Council is doing for its celebrations.”
The spokesman added: “It is extremely offensive to Conservatives to use our veterans as a political toy.”
The final local authority budget will be approved by Cabinet of Bath and North East Somerset Council on 9 February. It will be submitted to the full Council for approval on February 21.
John Wimperis, Reporter for Local Democracy