New public consultation on Bideford war memorial

The memorial design which has been chosen by the town council.

The memorial design which has been chosen by the town council. - Credit: Archant

Town councillor admits: “we got it badly wrong” over consultation received 38 responses last time.

Bideford Town Council will be consulting the town once more on the three memorial designs.

Bideford Town Council will be consulting the town once more on the three memorial designs. - Credit: Archant

COUNCILLORS in Bideford have agreed to go out to public consultation again over plans for a new war memorial in the town.

Bideford Town Council will be consulting the town once more on the three memorial designs.

Bideford Town Council will be consulting the town once more on the three memorial designs. - Credit: Archant

At the full council meeting yesterday (Thurs) Councillor David Brenton asked members to vote again on the design of the memorial, which will cost around £50,000.

This was after a majority of three councillors on the town’s staffing, finance and general purposes committee voted to go for a sword design in September.

There was a clear divide in the room as councillor debated the three designs – a sword, a cross, and an obelisk.

Councillor Steve Clarke, who moved the vote for the sword design initially, said: “I put forward the sword design because I thought it was what people would want.


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“I believe we should move forward now into the 21st century and make something quite beautiful that people want to come and see.”

But others felt the sword was a symbol of war and should not be used.

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“My father was killed in the last six weeks of the war,” said Cllr Mary Fulford.

“One thing I’d like to see is a cross in the park.”

After a long debate, Councillor David Howell suggested that the public consultation, which only received 38 responses, should be run again.

He said: “We got it badly wrong. We should never have got it wrong.

“If we’re taking 38 responses as meaningful; they’re statistically irrelevant.

“We should put some genuine effort into finding out what people like.”

Councillors voted for the three designs – as well as an option for no new memorial - to be delivered to those in Bideford on the electoral role in the form of a postcard poll.

It was agreed Mayor Simon Inch would contact the cadet groups in Bideford to ask for their help in delivering the postcards, and people could return them to nominated places around the town.

VOTE: Which design do you prefer? Vote in our poll above.

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