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Saturday, November 26, 2022
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Home Secretary bans EDL Wellington march

The Council had written to the Home Secretary Theresa May requesting the EDL march be banned following a recommendation by West Mercia Police. This request was made under Section 13 of the Public Order Act 1986.

The decision means that all marches including a planned counter Unity march will be banned from taking place in Telford and Wrekin. It is however expected that the English Defence League will still carry out a static demonstration in Wellington tomorrow, which West Mercia Police has decided will take place in Church Street.

Councillor Shaun Davies, cabinet member for Community Cohesion, said: “We welcome the fact that the Home Secretary has approved our request for the marches to be banned.

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“However, there will still be a significant multi-agency operation in Wellington tomorrow in anticipation of a static protest. Telford & Wrekin Council and West Mercia Police have worked very closely over the past few weeks to develop a comprehensive plan for before, during and after the event.

“People can be reassured that both organisations have the resources available and the experience to deal with any incidents on the day. We have also worked very closely with local residents and the business community in Wellington and we would like to thank them for their support.

“Telford & Wrekin Council has always said that it does not want this to take place in the borough.”

Chief Inspector Keith Gee of West Mercia Police said: “Even though the Home Secretary has given her consent it does not prevent any static assemblies taking place, which are still lawful provided they remain peaceful, and we have no legal powers to prevent them.

“We shall do everything possible to ensure that any assembly on Saturday remains peaceful and poses the least amount of disruption possible for those not involved in the assembly.”

“To that end we are still planning for a major police operation, involving our multi agency partners, and we will have significant numbers of police officers out on the streets to reassure our communities. I would like to reassure the communities in and around Wellington that we have the resources available and the experience to deal with any incidents on the day.

“We have received a lot of support from communities, organisations and groups and we want to thank them for their open and honest feedback and for engaging with us. Our officers have been out and about in Wellington and surrounding neighbourhoods in the run up to this weekend and that will continue. If you have any concerns please do speak to them.”

AFC Telford United’s game against Luton Town due to take place on Saturday evening at the New Buck’s Head Stadium was called off yesterday.

Telford & Wrekin Council has also taken the precautionary decision to close Wellington Civic & Leisure Centre and Wellington Library on Saturday.

The following roads will be closed from 7am and are expected to re-open at 10pm: Charlton Street, Church Street, Queen Street and Market Street. Access to the Market Street car park will be via Bridge Road.

The Ten Tree Croft car park in Queen Street and Nailors Row car park in Victoria Road will be closed from 6pm on Friday and will re-open at 8pm on Saturday.

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