Midlothian Council recognises the tradition of public processions and demonstrations and while the right to do so is protected by the Human Rights Act 1998 restrictions can be imposed.
A procession can be a parade, march, rally and involve people walking, running, driving vehicles or cycling and is not restricted to events being held on a public footpath or road. An exemption exists in relation to a funeral procession organised by a funeral director carrying out the normal court of his business.
The Council has produced a Guidance Note which lists matters we consider important when dealing with notifications of processions. Whilst, in general each notification will be dealt with equally, each will be assessed on its own merits and take into account whether the procession will impose too high a burden on the Police, the effect that a previous.procession had in relation to public safety and whether the organisers complied with guidance provided.
Organisers must provide a minimum of 28 days notice to the Council and the Police of the intention to hold a procession. This is the minimum period and organisers are encouraged to serve notice on the Council as soon as possible and not leave it until on or just before the 28th day before the event.
A risk assessment should also be carried out prior to the notification form being lodged with the Council. The completion of a risk assessment is designed to assist the organiser in identifying risks applicable to the event and taking steps to address these. A copy of the risk assessment form should be lodged with the notification form. It is important that the organiser retains the original risk assessment form for use through the preparation and event taking place stages.
Public Processions from 24 September 2016 granted, refused and being processed can be viewed by clicking on the link below.
Public Processions Guidance Note
Risk Assessment Form
Public Processions - 2016