Rotherham Town Centre - Saturday October 13
Published Friday 12th October 12
Further information has been confirmed for events scheduled for Rotherham Town Centre this Saturday (October 13).
South Yorkshire Police and Rotherham Borough Council are grateful for the support and co-operation of local businesses, residents, the wider community and march organisers from the English Defence League and United Against Fascism in working towards minimising any disruption arising from the proposed marches on Saturday, 13 October.
A continuation of this approach will help to facilitate the smooth-running of the events.
The details of the two events taking place on Saturday in Rotherham Town Centre involving the EDL and UAF are confirmed as follows:
There has been consultation between South Yorkshire Police and the English Defence League around the route of the EDL march. Using the legal powers available to them, the police are exercising a limit on the number of people allowed to take part in the march and have modified the proposed route - with the agreement of the EDL - in the interests of public order and safety.
EDL members taking part - an estimate of up to 200 people - will meet on Bridgegate near its junction with Frederick Street from 11.30am onwards, and the march will begin at 12.30pm.
The route is from Bridgegate near its junction with Frederick Street , uphill along Corporation Street , making use of what is normally the bus lane, and Ship Hill, albeit the police may close the whole of Corporation Street for public safety reasons if required. The marchers will then gather in an area outside Rotherham Town Hall for a number of public speeches by organisers
The EDL have agreed to move the timings and duration of this event at the request of South Yorkshire Police to ensure the area can be cleared by 1.30pm.
United Against Fascism will be holding a celebration event in All Saints' Square between 11am and 4pm, and have submitted a licensing application to the Council to hold this in the town centre. An estimated 250 people are expected to attend this event.
UAF are also proposing to march to the Town Hall and have co-operated with South Yorkshire Police in agreeing that this will not take place until the area has been cleared. This is unlikely to be before 3pm. The route will be along Church Street (the Minster side of Minster Gardens) and directly up Moorgate Street to the Town Hall.
In a democratic society, people have the right to legal and peaceful protest. Any attempt to ban a march such as that proposed this weekend would involve invoking the Public Order Act and an application, via the local authority, to the Home Secretary, demonstrating a real prospect of serious disruption and disorder that could not be dealt with by any other means.
Strong and clear advice from South Yorkshire Police is that there are no grounds for seeking to deny permission for these events to be held. Based on the information available and liaison with the event organisations, SYP and the Council have put in place a plan to deal with a number of identified contingencies.
The Rotherham United football match against Southend United at the New York Stadium will go ahead as planned, kick-off at 3pm.
To facilitate the march and ensure public safety, temporary road closures will be in place in parts of the town centre on Saturday and drivers are asked to avoid the Corporation Street/Ship Hill/Moorgate Street areas between 11am and 4pm, when the following roads are expected to be closed:
- Corporation Street between Frederick Street and High Street
- Moorgate Street between High Street and Wilfred Street
- Ship Hill
South Yorkshire Police and the Council are currently working with local taxi companies in relation to the level of service that will be made available on Saturday.
This is a matter for the companies themselves to determine, working with the information available. Discussions will also take place with public transport providers to look at contingencies in the event of a significant reduction in available taxis.
Due to the additional numbers of visitors expected on Saturday, there will be no market stalls and no children's rides on the streets in and around the town centre throughout the day.
Both the Police and the Council are working with local businesses and communities to provide as much information as possible about the events.
Both organisations will be deploying additional staff to the town centre on Saturday and whilst respecting people's right to protest peacefully, appropriate action will be taken to deal with any disorder.
A letter has been sent to all residents in the town centre and surrounding area to advise them of the proposed events, along with contact points for further information
Further information will be provided as it becomes available. You can also see the information online at South Yorkshire Police website and on our News pages or via the SY Police Facebook Page and on Twitter @syptweet and @RMBCPress.