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Concerns about Ribchester war memorial project
12:30pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in News
THE future of a residents-backed war memorial in Ribchester is under threat after a council’s refusal to help with its funding.
The Ribchester War Memorial Association was set up earlier this year and Ribble Valley Borough Council recently agreed that the new memorial could be sited on a section of their land in the village.
The group is aiming to raise around £20,000 in memory of the 23 soldiers from the village who lost their lives during both world wars.
However in a letter to the group, the council has revealed that its approval was on the condition that they would provide no financial help to the project.
It goes on to state that they might have to reconsider their original decision if the group were to ask for funding.
The council provided a grant to a similar scheme in Sabden in 2008, providing £5,000 in funds from the Community Enhancement Scheme.
The Church of England soldiers are currently commemorated separately in St Wilfrid’s CE Church, with the Roman Catholic servicemen remembered on a plaque at St Peter and St Paul’s RC Church in the village.
Liz Wilkins, the group’s secretary, said: “Naturally we are disappointed that the council have only agreed to make the site available to us on the basis that they make no financial contribution.
“We were not fully aware that this condition was part of their deliberation and it’s even more disappointing considering the level of help they provided to the project in Sabden a few years ago.
“However, the residents and business owners of Ribchester and the surrounding area feel very strongly about memorialising the 23 men who were killed during the World Wars and I am fully confident that we will raise the funds together as a community.”
John Heap, the council’s director or community services, said: “The community services committee agreed in principle on the basis that there was no financial contribution required from the council.
“This has been a stance taken consistently during discussions in recent months.
“There is no provision in the council’s budget for such a request and we have seen funding cut by around 30 per cent in the last couple of years, with further significant reductions in the coming year.
“It is likely that any contribution, if one were to be agreed, would be modest.”
To donate to the Ribchester War Memorial Fund, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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