Falkirk Council '˜to help pay Orange walk costs'

FALKIRK Council has voted to stump up half the traffic management costs for an Orange walk taking place next month.

File photo of an Orange Walk held in Motherwell. Picture: Alan Watson

At a meeting of the executive committee earlier this week, the authority agreed to pay the sum for the event on Saturday June 25, organised by the Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland Falkirk Branch 36.

The decision was made despite objections from SNP councillors who believed the money would be better spent on the local groups the Community Grant fund was meant for.

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Members of the SNP group also said the financial boost which organisers claimed the event would bring to the town would fail to materialise because many people would stay away from the town centre on that day.

Councillor Tom Coleman said: “It’s an inhibition to trade. We are not in the business of offering outside bodies subsidies – we don’t know who else will be coming to us and asking for money.”

Members were told that the Community Grant fund stood at £94,000 this year, compared to £110,000 last year.

Due to the committee’s decision to suspend fees on all Temporary Traffic Restriction Orders for the next six months, the march organiser will also not have to pay the £725 fee required to apply for the order.

Organisers said benefits to the town would include a significant uplift in hotel occupancy before and after the march, additional visitors to the area to spectate while the march is ongoing and promotion of the Falkirk Council area as a visitor destination.