A NEW approach to the way marshals work with police officers to control Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football is being discussed.
Members of the Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide Football Committee have admitted that last year’s game saw the volunteers taken away from their usual roles in and around the hug, and marshals have complained of having to stand for long periods on street corners monitoring road closures.
Last year a system was introduced which should have enabled police officers to call on the marshals to help with street closures but, speaking out at a recent meeting, members of the group of marshals complained it had meant they ended up standing in the cold and wet conditions when they would have been better-placed protecting the game.
The committee’s secretary Mick Betteridge said he is now looking forward to starting discussions with Ashbourne police over ways to effectively help monitor and route traffic around the game and to still have the marshals playing an active part in ensuring people are safe and the game does not stray out of bounds.
He explained he would suggest marshals are on hand to offer police officers from outside the area guidance and local knowledge on the game and traffic routes and, if help was needed in policing junctions, the committee might be prepared to fund professional stewards to ensure marshals are not asked to stand at road-blocks.
This, Mr Betteridge hopes, will result in the game causing less disruption to traffic during the two days and also make it easier and more enjoyable for marshals to carry out their duties.
The committee is keen to hear from people who are prepared to take on a marshalling role for next year’s match.
To find out more call 01335 342083.