Outrage as Hillingdon Council bans annual event at the Polish War Memorial
Residents have accused Hillingdon of dishonouring war dead as they banned the traditional annual commemorations of the Polish community.
The annual commemoration gathers hundreds of Polish and British-Polish people who bring and lay flowers to honour the Heroes, very often their relatives. Many veterans attend this ceremony and pay their honours to their fallen comrades in a respectable and dignified way.
However, this year the Polish War Memorial had been closed with locks and chains which resulted in many people not being able to enter the premises.
Lech Główczyński, member of the Polish community, said: “It is shameful that many sons and daughters of the Polish Pilots were not allowed to pay respects to their parents.
I strongly and kindly urge the Hillingdon Council to begin talks with the young Polish community to make sure that next year's commemorations are not banned.”
Veterans locked out the Polish War Memorial (Image: @britishpoles)
The ban was also met with outrage by many Twitter users, angry at what they thought was a disowning of ‘the cursed soldiers’.
@mikeonthemarne said: "Appalling behaviour on the part of Hillingdon Council - a gratuitous insult to brave allies. There should be an enquiry held, with consequences for those responsible."
Hillingdon Council commented on the ban saying that the event last year "created prolonged traffic congestion, involved unlawful use of pyrotechnics and smoke affecting the public highway, and left behind broken equipment and rubbish to be cleared up by the council”.
According to a council spokesman, as a result there were a considerable amount of public complaints addressed to both Hillingdon Council and RAF Northolt, “neither of whom had any responsibility for the event.”
Hillingdon Council required as a precondition for any future event that the organiser should have prior agreement from the police that they would attend but the Metropolitan Police did not regard the event as a policing priority so they gates were locked to avoid risk of injury.
Raymon Puddifoot, leader of the council said: “The disrespect shown by Patriae Fidelis to what we are proud to regard as a monument to fallen Polish airmen is simply not acceptable.”
"We are undertaking maintenance work to ensure that the Polish Memorial continues to be kept in good order, not that we would expect these people to be aware of that fact or indeed any of the other work that we have done to show our continued thanks and respect to the Poles who stood with us in a time of conflict.”