Commissioner steps in to save Walking Day

Photo Ian Robinson'Rev Tim Wilby and MP Lindsay Hoyle celebrating after Chorley Walking Day has been saved. Police said they might not be able to man it in future but police commissioner has got them to change their minds after MP Lindsay Hoyle wrote to him
Photo Ian Robinson'Rev Tim Wilby and MP Lindsay Hoyle celebrating after Chorley Walking Day has been saved. Police said they might not be able to man it in future but police commissioner has got them to change their minds after MP Lindsay Hoyle wrote to him

Chorley’s Walking Day has been saved after Clive Grunshaw, the new Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, intervened.

The much-loved tradition was under threat after police warned they did not have the manpower to marshal the event – held in June – leaving its future in serious doubt.

But Chorley MP Lindsay Hoyle wrote to Mr Grunshaw asking him to step in - and literally save the day.

“Clive told me they (police) have reconsidered,” said Mr Hoyle. “It’s excellent news and common sense has prevailed.”

He explained; “ I had sent a letter off saying how disgusted I was and that this was totally unacceptable. If you were walk round the town with a bottle of wine chanting, the police would escort you out of town.

“Hundreds of people take part in the parade, watching the route.

“It’s gone on hundreds of years with people walking through town showing their faith. I would like to congratulate the police on this decision.”

The Reverend Tim Wilby, of St George’s Church, Chorley, said: “That’s excellent news. We are very very fortunate to have Lindsay as our MP. He’s massively supportive in the work of the local community and church.

“We can only say thank you very, very much for his part in that.”

Even Chorley brownies pleaded for the Walking Day to continue.

The 4th St Peter’s Brownies wrote letters to Prime Minister David Cameron, the Chief Constable of Lancashire Police, the Bishop of Blackburn, the Mayor of Chorley and Chorley Council, asking for their help.

Pauline Barnes, 63, the group’s brown owl, said: “Everybody responded, including the Prime Minister.

“The brownies will be thrilled to bits after the holidays when they find out.

“The letters are pretty positive, pointing us in the right direction of doing it ourselves with trained volunteers.

“The Prime Minister thanked us for all the hard work we do and passed the latter on to the Home Office.”

She added that the mayor invited the brownies to his parlour and that the bishop said he would pray for them.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, said: “I know there was some concern about the future of Chorley Walking Day, along with other galas and events which require police support across the county.

“I can confirm I have met with Lindsay Hoyle, along with the Chief Constable and some of our other MPs, and we have agreed to review the situation.

“In the past the police have done certain things which are strictly the responsibility of other agencies, and we hope to work together those agencies over the next few months to look at a more common sen se approach to make sure our vibrant community activities are fully maintained.”