July 31 2014 Latest news:
Friday, June 6, 2014
Organisers of a Naked Bike Ride planned through the centre of Clacton during the school summer holidays have been asked to re-consider.
A strong request to cancel the event has been made by Tendring District Council (TDC) and Essex Police.
There were a number of objections from residents when the event was held in the town for the first time last year.
Initially organisers said they would not be going ahead in 2014 but have now planned an event on July 26, the first weekend of the school holidays, with backing from British Naturism.
Mick Page, leader of TDC, said: “Last year the ride was billed as a peaceful environmental protest but there was no evidence of environmental issues, banners or a message, and it appeared to be a promotion of naturism.
“It has now been timed, and the route chosen, to cause maximum impact on a day when the town will be extremely busy with both residents and visitors.
“We have made a very reasonable request by letter, setting out all the objections, and stating why we do not believe that such an event is welcome or suitable for a family seaside resort like Clacton.
“The reaction last time from the community has led us to oppose the ride this year on their behalf and that stance is fully backed by the police, who last time had the unenviable job of escorting the riders.
“There was one particular incident which gave both the council and police very serious concern and we do not want any repeat of that type of behaviour.
“I hope the organisers will react favourably to our appeal for all the right reasons and not inflict the event on the people of Clacton.”
Chief Inspector Cat Barrie, police commander for the Clacton district, said officers had worked very closely with TDC to come up with an appropriate response to the plans to stage the ride again this year.
Ch Insp Barrie said: “A number of meetings have been held with the council and taking into account the views of the public, which were expressed to us following last year’s event, it was agreed we would ask the organisers to re-consider whether to go ahead next month.”
According to the British Naturism website the event is now listed for July 19, suggesting organisers may have listened to concerns about the timing of the ride coinciding with the school holidays.
The listing describes the event as “mostly a protest against oil dependency, the World Naked Bike Rides in cities across the country are great fun and ideal for anyone who wants to try social nudity”.