Solihull Council will not be holding a traditional Remembrance Sunday gathering and is insisting that others should not hold gatherings at memorials in public places either, due to the requirement to maintain adequate social distancing arrangements.
A joint statement from the Mayor of Solihull, Councillor Stuart Davis and Councillor Alison Rolf, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities and the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, explains why the Council will not be holding a service and what other organisations can do to commemorate the day:
Remembrance Sunday is an emotional time of year. We understand why people would want to gather at a War Memorial to pay their respects to those who served in the forces, especially in the two World Wars.
As the Mayor and the Council’s Armed Forces Champion, we both recognise that you will still want to commemorate this day and we want to help you to do this safely.
We recommend that in order to mark Remembrance Sunday this year with dignity, respect and in a way that is safe for you and your family, you remember those who served in your heart and in your home rather than at a War Memorial.
You could follow the suggestions below from the Royal British Legion so that you do not put yourself, or other vulnerable people, at risk by holding a public event, march or parade. They have suggested a number of ways that you can recognise this very important day:
- Pay your respects at home by observing the national two minutes’ silence and viewing local broadcasts, pictures and social media coverage.
- Make a poppy to display in your window as a sign of your support for the occasion.
- Have a small Remembrance Service in your garden with members of your household.
- Pre-record any wreath laying activity in your community and stream on the internet.
- Use Zoom/Facebook/Google, or another appropriate online meeting platform, to host an online Remembrance Service or activity so that people can participate from home.
- Set up a community Remembrance forum and share different residents’ stories.
Government guidance to prevent large events or gatherings has been designed to help reduce the spread of Coronavirus and, like all councils we have a duty to ensure the wellbeing of the community.
The government has created a three-tier system – medium, high and very high – with Solihull in the ‘high’ category. This means that it is now against the law for Solihull residents to meet other households indoors (except with support bubbles). This is in addition to the national ‘rule of six’ and the local ban on meeting other households in private homes – though the rule of six will now apply to private gardens.
Therefore, this year you must not hold a parade or have a gathering of more than six people. In line with this we will not be holding a Civic Service this year. Instead The Mayor and Deputy Lord Lieutenant will lay a wreath at a short service which we will pre-record and stream on the Council’s website, YouTube and Facebook from 10:55 a.m. on Sunday 8 November.
Some people around the country are looking to observe the two minutes’ silence with their neighbours by standing outside their homes, which you may want to do, but please remember to observe social distancing.
Solihull Council appreciates that some members of the public will want to lay wreaths. If you do we would recommend that you avoid 11 a.m. on either Remembrance Sunday (8 November) or Armistice Day (11 November) to prevent groups of people gathering in one place.
You could lay a wreath at any other time at any one of the Borough’s War Memorials, which you can find here.
If you would like any further advice please contact Kate Bunting on 704 6958 or firstname.lastname@example.org