THE parade ahead of the annual Darwen Gala will go ahead as usual despite police refusing to provide assistance.

Darwen Town Council has stepped in after police said they would not perform the rolling road blocks or provide marshals as they had in previous years.

It comes as organisers of other historic events, such as the annual Coconutters parade in Bacup and the Padiham Whit Walks, have also faced a similar problem.

Town councillor Pete Hollings said he had spoken to members of the gala committee and it was decided that the parade was ‘too significant’ an event to lose.

Negotiations have taken place with Kays Traffic Management who will put in place the rolling road block while volunteers will be sought to marshal the event to maintain safety for participants. It comes at a cost of less than £500, as expenditure of more than that amount cannot be approved without a full town council meeting, and Coun Hollings said it was a ‘one-off’ with future events to be reviewed.

Coun Hollings said: “I am delighted that we have been able to help maintain an important tradition in Darwen.

“The gala parade provides a great deal of enjoyment not only for those participating but also for the spectators.

“After a brief discussion with deputy chairman Trevor Maxfield we have been able to offer our financial assistance in employing traffic management experts under delegated powers.

“The tradition spans back decades and I can remember enjoying marching along as a scout and a member of Darwen Judo Club many years ago.”

Darwen Gala committee chairman John Sturgess said: “I am delighted the parade will go ahead as usual.”

He added: “It is a big part of the day and a lot of people who line the streets to watch it will then head up to the gala field.”