‘Swimming in treacle’ a new Olympic sport?

Olympic torch.
Olympic torch.

WINSLOW Town Council is facing an Olympic task in making sure people can safely celebrate the torch procession when it comes through Winslow in July.

The town council and Winslow Combined School have great plans for a public celebration when the town enjoys its nine minutes of fame as the Olympic torch relay passes through on July 9.

But their enthusiasm has been coming up against red tape as they struggle to get a roadblock put in place, to ensure children’s safety.

Mayor of Winslow Llew Monger told this month’s town council meeting: “It’s been like swimming in treacle dealing with the county council.

“It’s proving very difficult to get anyone at the county council to appreciate the concerns of the headmaster of the school and ourselves about the safety of the children.”

He said headteacher Simon Rose had the idea for children from all the local schools to be invited to Winslow Combined School on the morning.

From there, they could be marched down to the A413 Buckingham Road in time to watch the torch go by.

The town council requested a roadblock to be put in place to allow this to happen safely.

But current plans are for no roadblock northbound, and only a rolling roadblock southbound.

Mr Monger said: “We want a diversion for one hour so the children can be brought up safely.”

Mr Monger, who is also a district councillor, raised his concerns about public safety at Wednedsay’s meeting of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC).

Ultimate responsibility for the safety of the Olympic torch relay in the Vale is carried by AVDC’s chief executive, Andrew Grant.

The torch relay begins on May 19 in Cornwall.

Public safety lessons could be learned today, Friday, as the organisers. Locog, put planning and traffic management to the test during a practice run from Leicester to Peterborough.

The torch will not be lit during the 80-mile dress rehearsal.

Homes and businesses along the route have been leafleted.