New memorial plan for Westbury is shelved
Westbury Town Council is planning to refurbish the war memorial in Edward Street next year, after failing to find money to build a new memorial in the Market Place.
The town council carried out a survey earlier this year asking people in Westbury whether they wanted to see the war memorial back in Market Place. It was removed in 1975 to make way for more car parking.
After a positive response, the council voted that the scheme could only go ahead if it could find its own funding.
But the maximum grant given by The War Memorials Trust is £30,000 and WTC were quoted a figure of around £70,000 for the new memorial in Market Place. It was also not eligible because it was a new memorial and the project was turned down by both the Trust and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission.
A response from the commission said: “The commission has no responsibility for the thousands of war memorials that were erected by local communities after the First World War and it is not empowered to expend its funds on their upkeep or repair.”
The council is now looking at putting money aside in next year’s budget to refurbish the war memorial in Edward Street, which is the venue for the town’s annual Remembrance service.
Cllr Stephen Andrews said: “We said that without funding, given the cost of the new memorial, we wouldn’t go ahead with it.
“We did try two other avenues for funding, but neither could have provided us with the money.
“The monumental mason who quoted us for the new memorial suggested that we refurbish the Edward Street memorial by getting the plaques clean and tidying up the surrounding area to make it nicer.
“It is an option that will cost less money and I’m going to put a motion in front of the next general purposes committee meeting to put aside money in the 2014 budget to refurbish the war memorial.
“I think that would be a good solution.”
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