Politicians unite in tribute to the fallen
SWINDON’s political parties are putting rivalry aside to unite their efforts in ensuring the town’s memorials are in top condition in time for the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I.
The rare move will see leaders of the Labour and Conservative groups present a motion at the next full council meeting, on Thursday, to establish an action plan for sprucing up the area’s memorials in time for the anniversary.
If councillors support the bid a charitable fund will be set up by InSwindon and local businesses to ensure that war memorials are kept in excellent condition for the World War One centenary, that starts on August 4 next year.
Leader of the Conservative group and Swindon Council, David Renard said it was a crucial step to take to make sure the fallen are remembered.
“We are mindful that the anniversary is coming up very soon,” said Coun Renard, who represents Haydon Wick.
“We want to encourage everybody to make their contribution to honouring the sacrifices that our predecessors made in order to allow us to live in the free country that we have today. I’m sure this is something that most people will get behind and support.”
He added that he recently signed a pledge, on behalf of the council, to take action against heritage crimes which linked in well with this motion.
Leader of the Labour group Jim Grant said it was an important enough issue to lay aside political differences.
“It’s important that Swindon’s residents who served in all of the military action for our country, are remembered and that they are given all the respect that they deserve,” said Coun Grant, of Rodbourne Cheney ward.
The motion also asks the mayor to encourage volunteers and local communities, especially school children, to take an active role in keeping the council’s monuments clean out of respect to the fallen.
In preparation for the anniversary, work has already begun to tidy up Radnor Street Cemetery, which contains the graves of 104 servicemen.
For more information about the council meeting, which will begin at 7pm, visit ww5.swindon.gov. uk/moderngov/
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