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Friday, 29 May 2015

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Volunteers dig deep to restore Millom Cenotaph

VOLUNTEERS have stepped into the breach after massive budget cuts forced council bosses to withdraw funding to a community war memorial.

dig for victory Millom volunteers helped to dig out the flower beds around the cenotaph in the town after Copeland Borough Council stopped maintaining the gardens due to cost cutting measures. Front from left: Sean Wilson, Jasmin Ryce, Ellis Fagan, Jackie Wilson, Adam Ryce; back from left: Jeannette James and Katrina Ryce HARRY ATKINSON REF: 50052934B001

VOLUNTEERS have stepped into the breach after massive budget cuts forced council bosses to withdraw funding to a community war memorial in Millom.

Copeland Borough Council decided to no longer maintain the flowerbeds and benches around Millom Cenotaph as part of efforts to satisfy austerity measures imposed by central government.

The decision provoked outrage in the town and led local residents to hold a silent protest at the memorial in June.

However, a joint working party involving Millom Royal Naval Association (RNA), Royal British Legion Millom branch (RBL), and Friends of Millom Park decided to take on responsibility for the memorial.

The group began work, with the help of independent volunteers, on Saturday to dig up the flower beds which had become overgrown and unsightly in the last few months.

Robert Watson, chairman of the RNA, said: “We got involved because the work needed doing and, along with our sister organisation the RBL, the cenotaph is kind of our patch really.

“You have to look at it with a balanced view. It’s all very well saying it should be the council’s responsibility and I pay my council tax the same as everybody else, but it has its reasons.”

However Mr Watson, who spent 23 years in the navy, expressed fears about the future of the memorial.

He said: “It would be nice to see the council take back responsibility because we won’t be around forever, and whether we will get new members I don’t know. We have a good bunch together at the moment but who knows in the future?”

Millom town councillor Joan Hobbs, chairwoman of Friends of Millom Park, said: “We did get people walking past and making comments such as it should be the council’s job, but that’s not helpful.”

The group intend to plant roses in the beds later in the year.

Mrs Hobbs said inmates at HMP Haverigg had also agreed to restore the wooden slats in the memorial benches around the cenotaph.

Anyone interested in joining the working group should contact Mrs Hobbs on 01229 774420.

Have your say

No Money for Millom War Memorial, but can find £250k for Whitehaven town centre refurb


Posted by Mark on 30 September 2013 at 19:00

Bill: I may be speaking out of turn, but I understand the funding cut is caused by the perfect storm of having a beautiful community focussed town located an hour away from the borough councils offices and having those offices populated by self centred, lazy low-lives that lack the intelligence to understand their own jurisdiction. Based on this assumption, the memorial and park funding cuts are most likely only to be imposed on Millom by Copeland. Keep paying your taxes folks!

Posted by A Volunteer on 12 September 2013 at 19:36

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