THE decision to stop an annual procession being held on the road for the first time has been called ‘pathetic’ and ‘demeaning’.

The St George’s Day Parade in Hyndburn will take place in Great Harwood on Sunday.

However for the first time the event will have to be held on the pavement instead of the road.

Organisers say this is because of traffic management which cannot afford to be put in place.

Scout leader in Oswaldtwistle Mick Shacks said: “I personally think the we should celebrate St George’s Day properly but like everything it’s being diluted by cost.

Traffic management is very expensive to be manned. It’s sad the way it’s going.”

Former Hyndburn Council leader Cllr Peter Britcliffe said: “It’s pathetic that this parade won’t take place on road as usual.

“It’s demeaning of a special day which lets people show they are proud to be English.

“It raises the question if this will see the decline of parades.”

This year the service is being held in St Bartholomew’s Church with the parade beginning at 12.45pm.

Cllr Judith Addison, who has worked with Scout leaders on the event, said: “It costs around £1,000 for traffic management, it’s not feasible, there’s no way Scouts can pay that. It’s killing this sort of community event.”

A police spokesman said: “We have adopted the Association of Chief Police Officers’ ‘National Guidance’ which means that the police do not undertake any traffic management for an event on the highway other than those events that are deemed to be of national importance.”

A spokesman for Lancashire County Council said: “Responsibility for managing events lies with the organisers who must apply for any traffic management orders which may be needed and manage the event by providing qualified stewards.

“We liaised with Hyndburn Council who were speaking with the Scouts.”