No Tim Peake parade through Chichester

Tim Peake on his visit to the Novium in Chichester on January 27
Tim Peake on his visit to the Novium in Chichester on January 27
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There will no Tim Peake parade through Chichester - but plans to bestow him with the Freedom of the City are progressing.

Chichester City Council had planned to host a parade and freedom ceremony combined for the astronaut after receiving a request from Oakwood School pupil Rufus Knight.

But town clerk Rodney Duggua told a city council meeting: “I’ve had a phone call from the European Space Agency.

“Tim Peake has made it clear to the ESA he would prefer there not to be a freedom parade.

“So it will simply be a freedom ceremony, hopefully at the festival theatre.”

Mayor Peter Budge told the meeting he met Major Tim when he visited the Novium Museum on January 27 and they had ‘bumped into one another like a pair of satellites coming together’.

He said: “It was very interesting with the school children and the exhibition is very impressive.”

Fellow councillors said there had been some confusion as to if the mayor had given Major Tim the keys to the city when they met.

Mr Duggua said the ESA had asked if it could be done on his visit but said: “The Freedom of the City is the highest honour to be bestowed and not something that can be done in a day.”