The London & Southern Counties Regional Committee has formally announced the measures it has taken following the cancellation of the 2020 Championships that was to have taken place in Stevenage on the weekend of the 21st & 22nd March.
The following statement was given by Regional Secretary Kevin Williams and Chair, Phil Doe.
"We would like to thank all bands for their patience since we cancelled the Area Contest on 13th March, which was a decision we took in advance of Government and BBE advice in order to ensure everyone's safety at our event.
The Committee are all volunteers, a large proportion of whom were also expecting to play at the contest, and have exactly the same concerns as everyone else, such as our own health and that of our family and friends.
We were acutely aware that we needed to find a solution for a way forward and thought it best to take our time and agree at the fairest decisions for all of the 81 bands that had entered the contest.
We know that some of these decisions won't sit well with everyone, but our role is to be impartial and to treat every band with equal respect and consideration, irrespective of their status and grading."
The Regional Committee have therefore agreed this way forward:
1. The 2020 Contest was formally cancelled, so no alternative dates or venues will be sought.
2. Entry fees will be refunded in full to band secretaries over the coming weeks.
3. The pre-2020 Contest grading tables will remain unchanged, and so the next three years points cycle will comprise of the results from 2018, 2019 and 2021.
4. Promotion and relegation will be suspended this year and bands will be required to enter the same section in 2021 as they did for 2020.
5. With the agreement of Kapitol Promotions Ltd., no bands, from any of the sections, will be nominated for an invitation to the Finals.
We know that some of these decisions won't sit well with everyone, but our role is to be impartial and to treat every band with equal respect and consideration, irrespective of their status and gradingL&SC Committee
They added: "We realise how disappointing this will be to those bands near the top of their respective tables, but please understand this decision was not taken lightly.
We trust that the bands accept this solution in the spirit in which it is intended. Two weeks ago we'd never heard of self-isolating and social-distancing, but hopefully we can all look forward to resuming our banding in the near future.
Stay well, and we look forward to seeing you all next year."