The organisers of the 2015 Jim Clark Rally were invited to a meeting with Scottish Borders Council at 10.00 am on Friday morning the 11th of November following which a statement timed at 11.31 am was issued by the Council press office. This meeting was called at short notice by the Council and the invited delegates were informed of the Council’s decision. Prior to this there had been no inkling of what was afoot. It would appear that there were few other ‘partners’ at the meeting and the JCR representatives who could make it were rather surprised at the news. However, they have been greatly heartened by the campaign which has sprung up to save the event, and also encouraged by the response and support from the local MSP, John Lamont, and MP, Michael Moore. No doubt there will be more to come from this.
The Council’s Statement is printed in full below, followed by the JCR team’s statement:
The following Statement is the FULL Press Release issued by Scottish Borders Council on Friday 7th November at 11.31 am.
Jim Clark Memorial Rally announcement
Published on Friday 7th November 2014
Following discussions with Police Scotland and partners, it has been announced that it will not be possible to hold the 2015 Jim Clark Memorial Rally in May.
Tracey Logan, Chief Executive
“This decision is not one we have taken lightly, and it follows a significant period of discussion with Police Scotland and partners on the matter. We have made every effort and explored a wide range of options to overcome a number of issues but have regrettably concluded that we are not in a position to commence planning the event.
“Scottish Borders Council and Police Scotland have met with the organisers of the Jim Clark Memorial Rally and discussed the situation with them. The rally is of significant importance to the Borders and we have reiterated our support for the event, and will provide every assistance we can to ensure that the rally takes place in the future. The possibility of delaying the event to later in the year has been discussed and is being explored by the rally organisers.”
“A vital part of planning an annual event is a debrief on the previous year’s event. This is all the more important given the circumstances surrounding this year’s rally. However, such a debrief simply cannot take place, and will not be allowed to take place by the investigators until their work is completed, which may not be until well into next year.
“The deaths of three spectators at this year’s rally were a tragedy that hit all those associated with the Jim Clark Memorial Rally and the wider Borders community very hard. The safety of the public at future events is of paramount importance to us all.
“The Jim Clark Memorial Rally is a well-loved event in the Scottish Borders’ sporting calendar, providing a £3.5m boost to the region’s economy, and this break in the running of the event has no impact on the legislation allowing it to run in the future.”
Superintendent Angus MacInnes of Police Scotland
“Police Scotland has been actively involved in discussions with our partners including Scottish Borders Council around the planning for the May 2015 rally. Having provided advice as part of those discussions, we support the decision made by the local authority and believe it to be the only sensible course of action.
“Investigations into the tragic events of the 2014 rally are still ongoing and these would need to be concluded before detailed planning for the 2015 event could begin to allow all parties to have a clear understanding of the full circumstances of the incident.”
The following Statement is the FULL Statement issued by th Jim Clark Rally organisers on Tuesday 11th November at 11.45 am.
Statement from the Promoters of the Jim Clark Rally
The promoters of the annual Jim Clark Rally have announced that there will be an event next year on the weekend of 30/31 May. As yet, the format of this 45th running of the rally has to be decided.
The organising team are working with MPs, MSPs and other relevant authorities to ensure that an event worthy of the name and reputation of twice F1 World Champion Jim Clark will be staged in his home county of Berwickshire.
The huge team of volunteers behind the organisation of this event have been greatly encouraged by the amount of public support, both locally and nationally, that they have received for the event to continue.
The promoters have also been greatly heartened by the support from both Mr John Lamont MSP (member for Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire) and Michael Moore MP (member for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk).
This statement of intent has also been welcomed by two of Scotland’s top national motor sporting championships, the Scottish Rally Championship and the Scottish Tarmack Rally Championship.
Planning for the 2015 event is already underway, although the final format of the event has yet to be decided as the promoters are considering numerous options.
Further information will be available in due course.
The Promoters of the Jim Clark Rally
11 November 2014
The promoters are aware of certain sensitivities surrounding this event, but would like to stress that public safety is of prime importance, as it is at all motor sports events throughout the UK. To that end they would like to correct the misleading impression which is continuing to be presented in some reports of the tragic accident earlier this year in which it is stated that “three spectators were killed”. This information is inaccurate. Two of the fatalities were media personnel, a journalist and a photographer representing a known news/information outlet, and the other fatality was travelling with them.
Following this tragic accident in May earlier this year, the Scottish Government established a Motor Sport Event Safety Review Group which is also looking into the wider issue of spectator safety at all outdoor events. The Group published their initial findings in early October with a more detailed report due before the end of the year.
Statement from: Mr John Lamont MSP (Ettrick, Roxburgh and Berwickshire)
Statement from Mr Michael Moore MP (Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk)
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