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Source: City of Derby

Derby City Council has today issued an open letter to all partners and stakeholders who have customarily been involved in remembrance services in the Market Place and at other locations around the city. The letter, signed by Council Leader, Cllr Chris Poulter, Deputy Chief Executive Rachel North and Director of Public Health, Dr. Robyn Dewis, reads:

Derby City Council recognises the national importance of commemorating the service men and women who have served their country since the First World War and in later conflicts.

As a result of the public health situation, this Remembrance Sunday and Armistice Day the Council is promoting a range of engaging online content to encourage residents to remember from home. We believe this is the right thing to do for Derby.

Unfortunately, our city’s Coronavirus infection rates are rising steeply, with around 320 new cases in the week ending 10 October and around 420 new cases in the week ending 17 October, including in older age groups where there is an increased risk of poorer outcomes. This compares to approximately 20 cases per week in the summer months. Mass gatherings and multiple household gatherings create more opportunities for the virus to spread and we need the support of all partners to limit the rate of infection.

Although Government advice issued on 15 October 2020 permits Remembrance events to take place in Tier 1 and Tier 2 areas providing certain conditions are met, Derby City Council has taken the difficult decision that we will not be adopting the role of event organiser for any remembrance events taking place either in the city centre or its localities.

Local partners are encouraged to adopt the same approach by seriously considering the implications of holding any events, due to the increased risks posed to public health. Should partners continue with any privately organised events, please be advised that it is the responsibility of the event organiser to ensure they have the necessary resources in place to guarantee public safety, undertake risk assessments and manage the implementation of Government guidance to ensure the venue is fully Covid-19 secure. The Council does not endorse any public gatherings at this time.

In accordance with national and regional guidance issued by the Royal British Legion and other stakeholders, the Council will continue to encourage residents in the city to remember from home. Despite the significance and poignancy of the occasion, it’s vitally important that we all do the right thing for Derby and its residents at a time when local Covid-19 infections are increasing.

Further information about the pre-recorded Service of Remembrance held at Derby Cathedral and the other online content available will be released in advance of Remembrance Day on the Derby City Council news website.

We appreciate your co-operation in this difficult and regrettable matter and hope you will support us in our efforts – ‘let’s do the right thing for Derby’.

MIL OSI United Kingdom