EXTENSIVE plans to restore the tranquility of Leigh's war memorial gardens have been unveiled. The £90,000 scheme, which has the backing of veterans from the Royal British Legion, is a bid to rid the area of the 'undesirable element' who vandalise the Church Street site.

The restoration will be completed in stages and it not likely to be finished in time for this Remembrance Sunday.

In another effort to deter vandalism, lcoal councillors hope a new series of CCtv cameras will monitor the area.

"We are determined to do all we can to make sure this area of town if vandal-free and again a fitting place for people to remember those who gave their lives for our freedoms," said Cllr Brian Jarvis, one of the councillors behind the project.

The scheme involves removing high hedges and railing around the War Memorial to create an open plan aspect, although new railing will be erected and mature trees left in place. The footpaths are being restored and new litter bins and seats, in the town's black and gold livery, are to be installed.

The project is being funded by cash from the council, Landfill Site Tax and money set-aside for use in four council wards (Leigh Central, Hope Carr, Leigh East and Bedford/Astley) from the Brighter Borough initiative.

Malcolm Russell from the council's Leisure Department said the project had the backing of the British Legion but a formal planning application had to be submitted because the gardens were in a Conservation Area.

Mr Russell is pictured (third from left) showing plans to British Legion officials, councillors and police representatives. PACL753/5

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