Vigil intended to honour the Queen ‘flat out refused’ by Birmingham City Council

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission on items purchased through this article, but that does not affect our editorial judgement.

Residents have expressed their frustration after a vigil for the Queen was refused by Birmingham City Council

A vigil intended to honour the Queen was “flat out refused” by Birmingham council causing fury among residents and councillors. One resident said: “It’s actually ridiculous”.

Organisers say the vigil, planned for Sunday (Sep 9), was intended to “pay respects to their beloved Queen” but a response from Birmingham City Council on Friday (Sep 9) said “It is not doable within the timeframe” and could be a potential fire risk. Beacon Hill Castle, set in the heart of a former Royal estate in Lickey Hills was the site selected for the vigil.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Councillor Simon Morrall said: “We set up a local group with stakeholders. We had a PA system for speeches, a singer for the national anthem and we offered to marshal and do a litter pick after.

Birmingham City Council HouseBirmingham City Council House
Birmingham City Council House

“Sadly, Birmingham City Council have come back today and flat out refused the proposals. I have tried calling the head of department, but they don’t pick up the phone and it appears they don’t want to move at short notice.

“And while they make some valid points, this is an unprecedented event and I think the council should be jumping through hoops to make this happen, else people will simply take matters into their own hands, which ultimately leads to worse outcomes as you don’t have any safety in place at all.

“We are trying to make alternative arrangements.” Residents also took to Facebook to vent their frustration at the refused vigil. One resident said: “This is absolutely ridiculous, it’s a major national event, where people need to be able to come together to mourn and pay respects.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“What council flat out refuses? Every government department has pre-planned for the death of our Queen, and such plans should have been in place at council level, actually ridiculous.”

What has the council said?

In response, Birmingham City Council (BCC) said there was not enough time to ensure the event went ahead safely. Cllr Majid Mahmood, Cabinet Member for Environment at Birmingham City Council, said: “I fully understand Cllr Morrall’s desire to recognise the death of The Queen in his local area, but the proposal that was put forward simply couldn’t be allowed in the format he had laid out.

“The use of a marquee, refreshments and a PA system mean this would have been a significant event – and with that comes a requirement to ensure that certain conditions are met. There was also the risk of fire, which has been a serious concern for people local to the Lickey Hills ever since the blaze earlier this year, and a robust plan would be needed to address this.

“In the past we have been able to facilitate many events across the city at similar short notice, and this has been the case where organisers have worked constructively with us. Suggestions were made by our parks team as to how an informal gathering, rather than a major event, could happen.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I am always available to deal with issues raised by other councillors if they feel they have been unable to resolve their concerns in any other way – and hope as many people as possible can engage with the events and opportunities we and partners have made available to remember The Queen, including Books of Condolence, a photographic exhibition, cathedral vigils, multi-faith acts of remembrance and the Accession Proclamation.”

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. BirminghamWorld is Birmingham’s latest news website, championing everything that is great about our city - reporting on news, lifestyle and sport. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook,Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.