Council votes not to move Bideford war memorial

Councillors have voted to keep the town's war memorial in its original position in Victoria Park. Pic: Graham Hobbs. Councillors have voted to keep the town's war memorial in its original position in Victoria Park. Pic: Graham Hobbs.

Saturday, March 1, 2014
9:00 AM

Councillors heard more than 50 per cent of people voted in public consultation for them to take no action on town’s memorial.

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The three war memorial design options put out to consultation, alongside moving the existing stones, and doing nothing at all.The three war memorial design options put out to consultation, alongside moving the existing stones, and doing nothing at all.

BIDEFORD town councillors will not be moving the town’s war memorial in Victoria Park following the results of a public consultation.

At its meeting on Thursday, the council heard more than 50 per cent of people who voted in the public consultation by post earlier this year wanted no action taken.

Residents were presented with three options for a new memorial: a sword, obelisk or cross, alongside the option of moving the stones and leaving them where they are.

The consultation also outlined the cost of each design, ranging from between £30,000 and £50,000 for the sword, obelisk and cross, to nothing for taking no action.

Of the 738 people who responded to the consultation, 51 per cent wanted to keep the stones, followed by 20 per cent who wanted to move them.

Town mayor Cllr Simon Inch said he felt the council should now look at the area around the stones to see if it could be improved to make access easier.

But Cllr Phil Pester said: “This has come from Manor Court. It was sent to the council to debate and move because it wasn’t fit for purpose.

“It was a presentment which was asked for and now it’s being kicked under the table.”

However, a majority of 13 councillors with two abstentions voted to leave the stones as they are, and to investigate the possibility of improving the ground area.

Cllr Anne Brenton added: “The public has spoken. We can berate the public for their decision but perhaps we should have worked harder to get people to vote.”

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