The Strathclyde Police Pipe Band was saved from the brink of dissolution this week after a meeting on January 19th and another on January 21st with the inspector and sergeant and the members of the band who also serve in the police force.
The voting members of the band reconvened on January 21st to determine leadership. Don Bradford returns as pipe-major, Duncan Nicholson as pipe-sergeant, and Eric Ward reinstated as lead-drummer.
Bradford, a serving police officer, had resigned, along with Pipe-Sergeant Duncan Nicholson, in October 2009, in frustration over the treatment of the band under the direction of the former Divisional Commander, who later resigned. The three reinstated leaders were unopposed.
The band has been approved to compete without issue at the five major championships in 2010, as well as any other events, provided “operational commitments” allow it.
Confirmed at the January 19th meeting was that the police officers within the band will be part of a new “flexi unit” along with other non-playing police officers. A document was produced at the meeting as a result of the police board meeting held On December 11, 2009, which stated that the band would compete at the five RSPBA major championships and any other events as decided by the divisional commander.
However, according to sources familiar with the matter, “No standard operating procedure was implemented, which would guarantee the band’s future for a period of years. Instead, all that is confirmed is the band is safe while the current divisional commander is in place and, therefore, no guarantees after this.”
It could be as late as March when shift systems are in place for the new unit, mainly because it has not been decided what the sort of police work the flexi unit will do, sources said.
Financing of the band for the year was reportedly set at between £10,000 and £20,000. Future years, according to an insider, are “unknown at present.”
According to sources, there are approximately eight serving officers with the band who work at the Stewart Street office. “It is not confirmed that all of them will stay with the band,” the source said, “and it is believed that at least one will not stay for the new season.”