Holding Public Processions (Parades)

Every person organising a procession or parade has to give notice to the Council no later than 28 days before the event of their intention to hold a procession or parade. In exceptional circumstances the Council can dispense with this notice period.

The impact of the Coronavirus (COVID -19) continues to have a significant impact on the processing of licence applications.

If you need to get in touch with the Licensing Team, please do so by email to the following address: licensingservices@westlothian.gov.uk

Email enquiries will be prioritised and responded to on a priority/urgent basis. We cannot accept phone calls at present.

In the meantime, applications for licences and permits (with the exception of hire car applications, please refer to the hire car webpages for details of how to make these) should be posted to the

Licensing Team,
West Lothian Council,
Civic Centre,
EH54 6FF

along with cheques or postal orders for payment of any fee required and copies of all required supporting documentation. 

If you are unable to post your application and fee please contact the Licensing Team by email.

Please be aware that there will likely be delays in the processing of applications due to changes in working conditions at present. 

If you are an event organiser you should note that when possible applicants will be able to email amended applications for events which have been postponed due to Covid-19 as long as the details of the event remain exactly the same and only the event date is changing, any other changes to event details will require a new application to be submitted in the usual manner.   

The council will consider your notification and can make an order imposing conditions on the holding of the procession or in very limited circumstances can make an order prohibiting the holding of the procession.

What is a procession?

Under Section 62 of the Civic Government (Scotland) Act 1982 any moving event held in a public place anywhere in Scotland can be considered a procession. There is no statutory definition of procession which means that the definition to be used is the commonly understood definition. In the Oxford Dictionary procession is defined as "a number of people or vehicles moving forward in an orderly fashion" and so can include parades, marches, rallies etc involving persons walking, running, cycling or in vehicles. Processions are not restricted to events taking place on a road or footpath.

The legislation provides an exemption to this in relation to funeral processions organised by a funeral director acting in the ordinary course of his business.

How to notify the council of your intention to hold a procession or parade

Decisions regarding notifications

Legislative background

Considerations which the Council can take into account

Complaints about the notification process