COMMUNITY groups on Canvey have rallied to ensure the island’s annual remembrance parade will go ahead as planned.

It was announced last week police would not be able to marshal the town’s parade on Sunday as a result of cuts to the force.

However, Jade Autos, on Charfleets Industrial Estate, the island’s 5th Air Scout Group, members of the Royal British Legion and councillors, have all stepped in to save the day.

Angie Wynn, legion branch secretary and poppy appeal organiser, stressed the importance of having marshals at the event.

She said: “We’re really grateful for the help, and they play a vital role in making sure the parade goes safely.

“We usually get more than 1,000 people come along, and we have to use the roads to fit everybody in.

“To make sure it runs smoothly, we need volunteers to put in rolling road blocks.

“Without them, the event would simply not be able to go ahead.”

Dave Blackwell, leader of Canvey Independent Party, will be one of 13 marshals helping at the event and says his group was more than happy to offer its services.

He said: “It’s one of the biggest attended parades in Essex, and we’re delighted to help.

“We’ll be doing our very best to block off the roads needed for the parade.

“Canvey has now been told not to expect police help for future events, such as our Armed Forces Day and carnival.

“They’ve said it’s a choice between chasing criminals and closing roads.

“I can understand their point, but it’s just frustrating that the police manpower has been taken away when we need it for Canvey’s community events.”

The parade leaves Runnymede Road at 10.15am before making its way across the island to the Paddocks for a service at 10.40am by the Rev Canon David Tudor, with a two-minute silence at 11am.