THE chairperson of a West Fife gala said their annual event was placed in “jeopardy” after police said they would not be able to provide cover.

Cairneyhill Gala has now shelled out hundreds of pounds for a private traffic management company to ensure the safety of all its young participants wanting to join their parade on June 10.

It’s not unique to the village and chairperson April Walker said not having police at parades was a “real concern”.

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She explained: “They (Police Scotland) said they are not providing support at all. That put our parade in jeopardy.

“We are all volunteers and a charity and we had to source a traffic management company which is costing us hundreds of pounds.

“At this late stage, it is not something we have budgeted for. The road is a main road. That was the great concern as we didn’t really feel safe and confident to do it ourselves.”

Yvonne Kendall, chair of Crossford Children’s Gala Committee, said they were “very disappointed” not to have the usual police support for their big day on June 3.

“We were advised by Fife Council at very short notice that this was due to a ‘significant’ event taking place in Dunfermline on the same day,” she said.

“However, we since learned that Cairneyhill Gala, which takes place the following weekend, was also told they would have no policing.

“This has caused us all significant stress because the parade is a vital part of gala day and our priority is the safety of everyone involved.

“The parade goes along the main road between Dunfermline and Cairneyhill and traffic is heavy with cars, buses and large lorries.

“Our committee is very small and we have no training in traffic management, yet were advised by the council that we had to consider managing the traffic ourselves.

“We were also told to consider ‘changing the date’ of our event, which has occurred on the same first Saturday of June going back 75 years.”

After reaching out to some retired police officers, the Blue Knights International will now help to manage traffic on the day.

Volunteers will step in and help at Dalgety Bay and Hillend’s Gala parade on June 10 after their plans were also thrown into chaos.

Committee member Katy Stollery said: “It is a challenge, especially as it is short notice. We are trying to find other ways and trying to put in place arrangements.

“We are currently trying to liaise with the police and the council and we have a specialist giving us some advice. It is not great but we are hoping to get support from more volunteers.”

Police Scotland Superintendent Tony Beveridge said: “We are always keen to try and support event organisers where possible, but competing demands mean officers can’t always commit to attending.

“We recognise community events are an important opportunity to engage with local people and we review every request on a case-by-case basis.”