SCOTLAND has “no present need” for a Northern-Ireland style Parades Commission to look at restrictions on Orange marches, an expert group has concluded.

But the report from a Scottish Government short-life working group, has warned there are “considerable tensions” over the facilitation of processions in some areas, particularly in Glasgow.

It says a “one size fits all” approach would not be appropriate, but outlined a series of recommendations such as improvements to notifications around marches and reducing public order policing by training of stewards.

It suggests Glasgow City Council could work on some of these changes with the possibility of a review after three or five years, to see if they should be adopted by other local authorities.

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The report also highlighted difficulties in obtaining information around parades and called for better statistics to be collected including on the annual number of processions, how many have conditions imposed and how many are subject to prohibition orders.

Last year First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she would ask Justice Secretary Keith Brown to examine the prospect of establishing a body like the Parades Commission in Scotland.

Set up in 1998 in Northern Ireland, it has the power to cancel, re-route or amend marches, including by barring the playing of music or the banning of certain individuals from attending.

The move came after thousands of Orangemen and supporters took to the streets of Glasgow in more than 50 processions to mark the anniversary of the Battle of the Boyne, which saw 14 people arrested.

However the idea of a commission in Scotland was criticised by the Orange Order as an “attack on civil liberties” and also campaigners against anti-Catholic bigotry, who described it as “ludicrous” and unnecessary.

The report stated: “One thing that is very clear is that whilst there are considerable tensions over the facilitation of processions in some areas, most particularly Glasgow, there are other areas where there are few if any problems.

“This has suggested to us that there is no immediate need for wholesale change in the regulation of processions across Scotland.

“But there are some very significant issues in Glasgow and surrounding areas that arise from long-standing issues around sectarianism and a football sub-culture in the city into which issues of the future of Scotland and Brexit have fed.

“We have made it clear that divisions that exist in Scotland are not the same, not as deep, as those in Northern Ireland but there are some indications of increased political antagonism damaging social cohesion.”

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Justice Secretary Brown said: “Marching, parading and protesting is of great importance to many people in Scotland for cultural, community and political reasons.

“The Scottish Government fully recognises this and is committed to freedom of speech and to upholding the human rights of those seeking to participate in such events.

“But in doing this we must also ensure that the rights of those seeking to go about their business undisturbed are also protected. As such, a balance must be struck between protecting the rights of those who seek to march or protest and those of the communities impacted by such events.”

He added: “We will continue to hold meaningful and productive dialogue with march and parade organisers, community representatives, Police Scotland and local authorities to ensure that, collectively, we continue to work towards achieving the correct balance of right for all.”