HC Deb 02 May 1996 vol 276 cc621-2W
27. Mr. Connarty

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what steps he intends to take to minimise tensions between the two communities in Northern Ireland during the coming marching season. [26402]

Sir John Wheeler

The management of parades is a complex issue which requires much patience and hard work for all concerned.

The routing of parades is an operational matter for the Chief Constable and I believe such decisions are best left to him. The RUC handle the issue of parades very well, focussing on negotiating with local residents' groups and parade organisers in an attempt to reach agreement.

It should be remembered, however, that, in over 3,000 parades in 1995, in only a small handful was there disorder.

Mr. McAvoy

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what proposals he has to establish a mechanism which would seek community consent for the routing of traditional marches and parades. [26396]

Sir John Wheeler

There are no plans to change present procedures under which the routing of parades is a matter for the police, where necessary after consultation with both march organisers and local people. It is worth remembering that in over 3,000 parades in 1995 only a few resulted in disorder.

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