EDL march will go ahead in Telford, with restrictions

Strict conditions are set to be imposed by police on a proposed march by the English Defence League which is to take place in Wellington Town Centre on Saturday, 13 August.

The march will take place between 1pm and 3pm and follow a police designated route from Church Street, turning right into Market Street, right into Bridge Road, right again into Queen Street and returning to Church Street.

In a move aimed at minimising the impact of the demonstration on traders and the wider community the police are using powers under the 1986 Public Order Act which will stipulate when and where EDL supporters may gather and the route their march must take.

Shropshire Live, 4 August 2011

Telford & Wrekin Council statement on the march

Telford & Wrekin Council say they disappointed that the EDL march will be going ahead.

Cllr Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Community Cohesion, said: “The overwhelming voice from the community in Telford, and in particular in Wellington, is that people do not want this march in our town.

“The Council would not want the march to go ahead but we understand and appreciate the very difficult position that the Police are in.

“The law and free speech allows for demonstrations and only under very clear criteria can these be stopped. The police have told us that these criteria have not been met and therefore the march goes ahead.

“The Police have the experience, resources and expertise in handling such matters and we continue to work very closely with them to minimise any disruption this march may cause and most importantly protect the safety of the community.

“While Telford is united against this unwelcome march, it is very important the Council, the community and all our partners continue to get behind the police and to make sure it has as little impact as possible on people and daily life in the borough.”

The EDL are complaining that the police will be restricting their march under Sections 12 and 14 of the Public Order Act. However, given that EDL protests regularly result in serious public disorder, there is no obvious reason why the police could not have applied for a total ban on the march under Section 13.