Sunderland council chief tells organisers of Nigel Farage-led March to Leave Brexit crusade not to cause 'disruption' to residents and traffic
A senior councillor has warned organisers of a Brexit march that leaves Sunderland at the weekend not to cause any 'disruption' to city residents and traffic.
Organisers of the March to Leave event, which will be led by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage, say it will leave central Sunderland at 9am on Saturday - but have yet to confirm the starting point location or its route.
The first day of the march will head to Hartlepool, with the second stage beginning from the town and heading to Middlesbrough on Sunday morning.
It is not known how many people are planning to take part on the opening stage of the march. Further details are expected tomorrow.
However, Sunderland City Council's Deputy Leader, Coun Michael Mordey, said it had not been approached by march organisers to close any roads.
Coun Mordey said: "The City Council has not been approached by the march organisers to close any roads and would expect the organisers to ensure that their event does not disrupt the local traffic network; so that the people of Sunderland can go about their daily business on Saturday without any disruption."
The march is due to culminate with a rally in Parliament Square, London on March 29.
The march's organisers said: "The establishment promised we would leave the EU on March 29, 2019, but they are now attempting to delay Brexit or even stop it all together."That’s why we need to show them we will not sit by whilst they betray Brexit.
"Join thousands of leavers in a historic rally in Parliament Square, starting from 4pm on March 29 to show the Westminster elite we must leave the EU without delay."This rally will immediately follow on from our historic March to Leave and we need as many people in attendance as we can get to give our epic journey a fitting conclusion."
A Northumbria Police spokesperson said: “We have a duty to appropriately and proportionately police protests, and we respect the rights of people to hold such events.
“Ensuring the safety of the public is our utmost priority, and the Force has extensive experience of policing such events.
“We always look to work closely with the organisers to ensure any disruption is kept to an absolute minimum, as well as offer reassurance to members of the public.”
A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police added: "We’re aware of the march planned to travel through our force area.
"There are no advance plans for road closures.
"We are following our normal policing plans for a protest – as part of our role to protect people’s right to protest and to minimise disruption to the public."
And a spokesman for Durham Constabulary said: "We are aware of plans for a procession passing through the force area at the weekend.
"Durham Constabulary will, as always, uphold the right to peaceful protest while working to ensure there is little disruption to the local community as possible."
Meanwhile, A Fishing for Leave protest is planned for the River Tyne and surrounding area on Friday, with a suggestion another flotilla will gather in Hartlepool on Sunday to accompany the March to Leave gathering.