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Homecoming Parade for TA heroes

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Parade at South Shields Town Hall this Sunday

I am delighted that this homecoming parade is taking place in South Shields and I hope that as many people as possible from South Shields, South Tyneside and the surrounding area will turn out to welcome the five members of the Territorial Army who have just completed six months service in the troubled Afghanistan province of Helmand. The parade and march past in front of the Mayor of South Tyneside by TA soldiers from 205 Battery Royal Artillery, based in Horsley Hill, South Shields, and the 12th Company of the 4th battalion Parachute Regiment (Volunteers) will be led by the Pipes and Drums of 101 Regiment and starts at 12:30 –  a great opportunity for all of us to express our thanks for their commitment and professionalism.

I was at the March meeting of South Tyneside Borough Council when a unanimous decision was taken to arrange this parade after opposing councillors gracefully accepted each other’s amendments to the original resolution. It was one of those rare occasions in the council chamber at South Shields Town Hall when unity counted for far more than dissent, and with no need to introduce politics, sentiment, personal circumstances, family or friends’ opinions, pro war or anti war positions, – it was a real pleasure to see each and every one of our councillors wanting to support this kind of public measure which displays our appreciation and honour for our armed forces wherever they have been sent to serve.

So it is with great disappointment that I see one political group appearing to steal a march on the show by almost single handedly claiming credit for the parade. One of my commenters has just emailed me the link to the piece which reads:

Almost 8 months later the South Tyneside Independents are proud to announce that a civic reception and homecoming parade for veterans from the borough will be held on Sunday 29th November.

You can find the link to their website in the side bar, just why they think they have some prior right to proudly make an announcement on behalf of the whole council, nay on behalf of the whole borough, is quite beyond me. The council has made an announcement non politically, on our behalf. The South Tyneside Independents may be as happy as any other group on the council but to almost claim credit is a travesty and does a great disservice to all those who either supported their amendment, changed their own resolutions, or altered their words in order to find amicable unanimity. This is an occasion where the people of South Tyneside can claim credit for all their own pride in our armed services, an occasion where the petty politics can be left at home thank you very much!

Update

In a magnanimous gesture, the admin person (now who could that be) at the South Tyneside Independents website has agreed to change the wording in their post  –to keep politics out of the issue.

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Written by curly

November 24, 2009 at 8:41 pm

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