Large scale demonstrations will take place in Brighton on the 30th November as public sector workers protest about changes to their pension arrangments. What can businesses expect?
Demonstrators will gather at three locations at 10.00 a.m. - East Brighton Park (bottom of Wilson Avenue); Hove Town Hall and Brighton University (Lewes Road Campus). They will be stewarded and children wll be included in the marches.
At 10.30 a.m. demonstrators will head towards the city centre. It is estimated that at least 6000 people will will converge on Victoria Gardens.
At about mid-day they will all travel up North Street, along Queens Road and down North Road, before proceeding to a rally at The Level for approximately 1.00 p.m.
There is currently no intelligence to suggest that further direct action by groups such as UK Uncut or Stop the Cuts will take place but some small groups may take the opportunity to enter the usual shops and banks that have been targeted in the past.
Sussex Police have assessed the risk of crime and disorder as being low but the risk of significant disruption for a period of 2 hours is high because of the volume of participants expected to take part.
Brighton and Hove City Council do not consider that there is a significant risk to critical services on that day but city centre businesses will undoubtedly be disrupted if only by the closure of roads to facilitate the march. This is likley to interupt the bus network and those who have a choice e.g. shoppers, will probably stay away from the city centre so shops can expect less trade.
The date, at the end of the month, is the last pay day before Christmas when serious shopping begins but if the city centre is going to be disrupted it is far better that it happens on Wednesday rather than a weekend.
The unusually clement weather is proving to be a boon for retailers [except those trying to shift winter fashions!] and if it holds into next month Christmas may be much less of a disaster than last year when snow and rain wiped out three out of four weekends in December.
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