CHANGES to how parades and processions in Glasgow are governed could be in place before the height of next summer’s marching season.

Glasgow City Council has agreed to a “fundamental review” into parades – which could lead to law changes – after a series of protests and violent incidents over recent months required a large police response.

Leader Susan Aitken said there is a “sense of urgency”, with the council hoping to have a strategy outlined by the turn of the year.

“We would like to go, at the very latest, into 2020 with a clear understanding of what the council’s approach is going to be and what the council’s asks may be of our partners in this,” she said.

“One of those asks may be around legislation, I’m not going to pre-empt that.”

A review was already underway to look at the impact parades had on communities but did not involve elected councillors.

Now, the City Administration Committee has agreed a working group, led by a senior SNP councillor and including members from all four political parties, will be set up to look into the powers available to the council. Ms Aitken emphasised: “It is not a party political process.”

She said it isn’t a review of the public processions committee but the working group might recommend taking a “different approach” in future.

“In the meantime, the public processions committee remains the vehicle by which the quasi-judicial decisions are made on individual parade notifications,” the leader added.

A moratorium was recently mooted by the council but that option was ruled out after legal advice.

The council took the unprecedented step of prohibiting six processions earlier this month, following a report from Police Scotland.

And Chief Constable, Iain Livingstone, has said the cost of policing parades and counter protests seen in recent weeks is “not sustainable”.

Ms Aitken said: “While the right to process and march is protected under Article 11 of the European Convention of Human Rights in relation to the right of freedom of assembly and of association, this is not an absolute right and proportionate restrictions may be placed on the exercise of these rights by law in the interests of national security or public safety.”

The formation of a working group and a review was welcomed by Labour, the Tories and the Green Party.

Labour councillor Archie Graham said it was “crucial” to engage with parade organisers. “The organisers, in my experience, are appalled by the people intent on violence, whether it be people who follow parades or organise counter-demonstrations,” he said.

“I hope the public processions committee never again has to prohibit a church parade as it did recently. Christian people wanting to parade to church and play hymns on the way. We had to prohibit that as a direct result of the antics of these men of violence.”

There must be a stop to “police being attacked, clergy being attacked and members of the public being attacked,” he added.

Tory leader Thomas Kerr said: “We take this extremely seriously, I’m willing to put myself forward, as group leader and the most senior Conservative in this council, to be the person who is going to speak for it.”