Review of Marches and Parades in Scotland

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Review of Marches and Parades in Scotland

7 The number of marches and parades in Scotland

Introduction

7.1 This chapter provides statistics on the numbers of processions taking place across Scotland. Before I look in detail at the statistics, it is important that I explain a little about the way I have categorised marches and what these statistics actually demonstrate.

A note on my categories

7.2 For ease of recording and then analysing statistics about processions, I needed to group the processions into categories. I decided to use three categories and my shorthand descriptions for the categories were: 'Orange', 'Catholic' and 'Other'. It might be helpful to explain what lies behind those categories.

7.3 I decided that these were readily understandable categories and already used by the general public in identifying the different processions taking part in their communities. However, they do not distinguish between the various groups within those overarching categories. I recognise that a variety of different sorts of marches take place in each category.

7.4 I included all the Loyal Institutions under the 'Orange' category and so it covers parades organised by the Orange Order (at all levels - Grand Lodge, County Grand Lodges, District Lodges and Private Lodges) the Apprentice Boys of Derry and the Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Scotland. The 'Catholic' category includes processions organised by Catholic groups including the Ancient Order of Hibernians. It also includes groups which would describe themselves as Republican and political rather than religious, such as the James Connolly Society and the West of Scotland Bands Alliance. It also includes marches organised by a new group, Cairde na hÉireann which has been established as a coordinating group of Republican organisations. The 'Other' category was, of course, the widest ranging from political protest through to gala day processions, with a considerable variety between. Chapter 4 on The Traditions of Processions gives a flavour of that variety.

A note on interpreting the statistics

7.5 As part of the Review, I asked local authorities to provide me with statistics on the numbers of processions notified to them under the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. However, as they record only those which need to be notified, these statistics will not show the total number of processions taking place across Scotland. As discussed in Chapter 6 on Current Practices, some local authorities have made orders exempting various groups from the need to give notice and other local authorities regard some processions as 'commonly or customarily' held under section 62(7) of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982. For example, Scottish Borders Council treat the common riding processions as exempt, for the purposes of the Act, and there is often more than one procession in most of the ten towns which have annual Common ridings. They also treat as exempt other community festivals which take place across their area. Other local authorities have upwards of 300 exempt organisations. Given local authorities have different numbers of exempt organisations, the comparison between the numbers of processions taking place in each local authority area will not always be comparing like with like.

7.6 Record keeping within local authorities also varies. Some authorities keep detailed records showing a month by month analysis of the numbers and types of processions being notified. Others do not have the same historical data and I have had to use estimates for some of the earlier years to give a more complete picture.

7.7 Some processions involve both an outward and a return procession. Most local authorities require only one notification and the statistics record a single procession, although in reality two will have taken place. For example, of the 42 Orange walks which were notified to take place in South Lanarkshire in July 2003, 20 involved both an outward and return procession. During the Review, people drew attention to these outward and return processions as being of some concern to communities. There was a commonly held perception that these led to disruption throughout the day, with the outward procession taking place early in the morning and the return procession not coming back until the early evening.

What the statistics show

7.8 Detailed tables showing the statistics about the number of marches and parades I collected as part of the Review are at Appendix H. In this chapter, I look at statistics on:

  • the numbers of notified processions (figure 7.1);
  • the number of notified processions in each category (figure 7.2);
  • the proportion of notified processions in each category (figure 7.3);
  • the spread of processions across Scotland (by police force area and local authority area) (figures 7.4, 7.5 and 7.6);
  • the regional spread of the proportion of notified processions in each category (by police force area and by local authority area) (figure 7.7);
  • the spread of processions throughout the year (figure 7.8); and
  • the size of marches.

Numbers of notified processions

7.9 During the Review, I was aware of the strongly held belief that many people felt the numbers of processions across Scotland was increasing. The statistics show that this has, in fact, been the case and there has been a gradual increase of around 8.5% between 2001 and 2003:

  • in 2001 there were 1,577 notified processions;
  • in 2002 there were 1,600 notified processions;
  • in 2003 (the year which has the most accurate records) there were 1,712 notified processions; and
  • in the first nine months of 2004 there were 1,428 notified processions.

7.10 The following table shows the number of notified processions taking place annually across Scotland from 2001 to September 2004.

chart

Numbers of notified processions by category

7.11 It is interesting to look at the differences in increases between categories. The 'Orange' category has seen the steadiest growth from 800 in 2001, 832 in 2002 and 853 in 2003; the 'Catholic' category has remained more or less static and the 'Other' category has varied with 756 in 2001, a decrease to 751 in 2002, and an increase to 839 in 2003.

7.12 The following table shows the number of notified processions by category taking place annually across Scotland from 2001 to September 2004.

chart

Proportion of notified processions in each category

7.13 The statistics show the proportion of processions being arranged by different organisers. Overall in 2003, half of all notified processions (50%) were in the 'Orange' category, 1% in the 'Catholic' category and 49% in the 'Other' category. These proportions need to be treated with a little caution as there are other processions organised by exempt groups, in addition to those that need to be notified, and by their nature these would fall into the 'Other' category. Generally the proportion in each category remained similar.

chart

Spread of notified processions across Scotland

7.14 The statistics show that there is not an even spread of processions across Scotland and the following tables show the numbers of notified processions which took place across Scottish Police Force Areas in 2003.

Numbers of notified processions across police force areas in 2003 (Figure 7.4)

Police Force Area

Orange

Catholic

Other

Total

Strathclyde

713

16

250

979

Lothian and Borders

86

2

210

298

Fife

13

1

161

175

Tayside

7

1

93

101

Central Scotland

31

0

56

87

Grampian

0

0

54

54

Northern

0

0

15

15

Dumfries and Galloway

3

0

0

3

Total

853

20

839

1,712

chart

7.15 Some local authorities have a disproportionate number of processions in proportion to their population size, as can be seen in the following table:

Numbers of notified processions in 2003 (Figure 7.6)

Ranking no of marches

Total

Orange

Catholic

Other

Population size (2003)

Ranking - populationsize

1

Glasgow

338

287

11

40

577,090

1

2

Fife

175

13

1

161

352,040

3

3

South Lanarkshire

162

111

0

51

303,010

5

4

North Lanarkshire

160

157

3

0

321,820

4

5

West Lothian

109

75

0

34

161,020

10

6

North Ayrshire

93

63

0

30

136,030

14

7

East Lothian

83

7

0

76

91,090

23

8

Edinburgh

72

1

2

69

448,370

2

9

Perth and Kinross

58

3

0

55

135,990

15

10

Renfrewshire

57

31

1

25

170,980

9

11

Falkirk

43

20

0

23

145,920

12

12

Argyll and Bute

42

0

0

42

91,300

22

13

East Ayrshire

40

26

0

14

119,530

16

14

South Ayrshire

31

9

0

22

111,580

17

15

Stirling

29

8

0

21

86,370

26

16

Midlothian

28

3

0

25

79,710

28

17

Angus

23

1

1

21

107,520

19

18=

Aberdeenshire

20

0

0

20

229,330

6

18=

Dundee

20

3

0

17

143,090

13

18=

Moray

20

0

0

20

87,460

25

21

East Dunbartonshire

18

10

0

8

106,970

20

22=

Clackmannanshire

15

3

0

12

47,680

29

22=

East Renfrewshire

15

9

0

6

89,680

24

24=

Aberdeen City

14

0

0

14

206,600

8

24=

Highland

14

0

0

14

209,080

7

26

Inverclyde

12

9

1

2

83,050

27

27

West Dunbartonshire

11

1

0

10

92,320

21

28

Scottish Borders

6

0

0

6

108,280

18

29

Dumfries and Galloway

3

3

0

0

147,210

11

30

Orkney

1

0

0

1

19,310

32

31=

Eilean Siar

0

0

0

0

26,100

30

31=

Shetland Islands

0

0

0

0

21,870

31

The regional spread of the proportion of notified processions

7.16 There are considerable differences in the regional spread of organisers. In 2003, in the Strathclyde Police region, 73% of all notified processions were in the 'Orange' category, 2% in the 'Catholic' category and 26% in the 'Other' category, whereas in Lothian and Borders Police Force region, 29% were in the 'Orange' category, less than 1% in the 'Catholic' category and 70% in the 'Other' category. Almost 36% of notified processions in the Central Police Force area fell into the 'Orange' category and 64% in the 'Other' category.

7.17 The following table shows the spread for local authority area. Percentages have been rounded.

Proportion of processions organised in each category in 2003 (Figure 7.7)

Ranking no of marches

Council Area

% 'Orange'

% 'Catholic'

% 'Other'

1

Glasgow

85

3

12

2

Fife

7

1

92

3

South Lanarkshire

69

0

31

4

North Lanarkshire

98

2

0

5

West Lothian

69

0

31

6

North Ayrshire

68

0

32

7

East Lothian

8

0

92

8

Edinburgh

1

3

96

9

Perth and Kinross

5

0

95

10

Renfrewshire

54

2

44

11

Falkirk

47

0

53

12

Argyll and Bute

0

0

100

13

East Ayrshire

65

0

35

14

South Ayrshire

29

0

71

15

Stirling

28

0

72

16

Midlothian

11

0

89

17

Angus

4

4

91

18=

Aberdeenshire

0

0

100

18=

Dundee

15

0

85

18=

Moray

0

0

100

21

East Dunbartonshire

56

0

44

22=

Clackmannanshire

20

0

80

22=

East Renfrewshire

60

0

40

24=

Aberdeen City

0

0

100

24=

Highland

0

0

100

26

Inverclyde

75

8

17

27

West Dunbartonshire

9

0

91

28

Scottish Borders

0

0

100

29

Dumfries and Galloway

100

0

0

30

Orkney

0

0

100

31=

Eilean Siar

0

0

0

31=

Shetland Islands

0

0

0

Spread of notified processions throughout the year

7.18 The statistics I collected do not, unfortunately, give a full spread of processions across the year as some local authorities do not collate statistics on that basis. However, the statistics I did receive show that in 2003 the peak month for all processions was June (with 392), with many taking place in July (259), May (174) and August (157) followed by November (142). The peak months for marches in the 'Orange' category were June (250) and July (202) with May the next most popular (108). Processions in the 'Catholic' category took place in May and June (five each month) with others in March and August (three each month). The peak month for 'Other' marches was June (137) with November (110) and August (82) seeing a fair number too.

chart

7.19 What these figures don't show, of course, is the number of processions occurring on the same day. Most processions take place in the summer months of May, June, July and August with November providing another peak. Weekends are naturally popular for a lot of organisations and many organisations have important traditional dates which the various parts of their organisations want to celebrate annually. Looking in more detail at some of the notifications for 2003 can show how many processions take place on the same day, leaving to one side the other unnotified processions which might also be taking place at the same time. A few examples illustrate the spread:

  • There were over 50 processions notified to North Lanarkshire Council on 5 July 2003 involving a wide range of Private and District lodges, ladies lodges, as well as the Grand Orange Lodge and Flute Bands. The numbers at the various processions varied considerably. Most were under 100 although nine had over 200 participants (including three over 500);
  • The Provincial Grand Black Chapter of Scotland notified 12 processions to North Lanarkshire on 9 August. Most of the processions involved under 100 participants, although two predicted more than 400 participants;
  • There were five Orange Order processions on 26 June 2003 in East Lothian around Prestonpans starting at 7.30am;
  • There were nine different events in various parts of Edinburgh on 14 June 2003 ranging from gala days to a motorcycle action group run;
  • In Renfrewshire on 3 July 2004 there were ten processions, nine organised by various Loyal Orange Lodges and one by Renfrewshire Arts (half of the processions took place in parts of Paisley).

Size of marches

7.20 It is clear from the statistics that the numbers participating in notified processions varies considerably from tens to thousands. I was not able to collect overall figures showing how many people participate, however the telephone survey I commissioned demonstrated that 28% of those asked had participated in a gala day parade, 15% in a protest or demonstration and 3% in an Orange walk or Republican parade.

7.21 Some local authorities provided information about the scale of events in their areas. For example, the average number of participants in Dundee was around 40, although several hundred had taken part in the marches against the war in Iraq. In East Renfrewshire, Orange walks similarly varied in size, from 20 to 400 with other processions ranging from 50 to 500. South Lanarkshire recorded 15,200 people taking part in Orange walks in 2000 reducing to 14,241 in 2003. At the national Orange Order walk at Blantyre on 10 July 2004, 12,000 people attended. Processions in Edinburgh also varied considerably in size with organisers estimating that: 800 participated in the annual May Day Rally, 1,000 in the James Connolly march; 3,000 in Pride Scotia; and 4,200 in the Provincial Grand Black Chapter Parade. Fewer people attended smaller issue based processions: 100 at an excluded parents demonstration and 100 at a sewage works protest march.

7.22 The disruption caused and policing requirements will vary considerably according to the predicted size of the processions. People commented that the larger processions in small villages can effectively cut villages off.