Wednesday, 25 November 2015

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£20,000 to spruce up war memorials in Carlisle area

Community memorials will be spruced up in time for the centenary of the beginning of World War One.

Carlisle war memorial photo
Carlisle Cemetery’s memorial is among those due to be worked on

Carlisle City Council’s executive last night approved spending £20,000 on cleaning and repairing 28 memorials, in rural areas or on private land.

It means the monuments will be given a makeover ahead of the 100-year anniversary of the outbreak of World War One on August 4.

Elsie Martlew, the council’s deputy leader, revealed that the cash was on top of thousands of pounds already set aside for other memorials which the authority maintains.

She told a meeting of the executive: “I heard on the radio that we were spending £20,000 on war memorials but this is wrong.

“This is additional money which we agreed following our latest budget – we have agreed £67,000 to date.

“This extra £20,000 is for war memorials in rural areas with the other areas of the district having already been identified. Work is currently being undertaken to assess exactly what needs to be done to them all.”

The memorials, which include stone crosses, plaques, crucifixes and tablets, were put up across and outside the city in tribute to those who gave their lives in service of their country during the war.

Britain declared war on Germany on August 4, 1914, following its invasion of neutral Belgium. It developed into a global conflict until 1918, during which time millions of lives were lost.

The city council said it wants to make sure the memorials are “in good condition and continue to honour and remember those who gave their lives for freedom”.

A report to the executive explained: “The council has already taken steps to ensure that the memorials in the direct care of the city council are in good condition for the anniversary and now wishes to extend this ambition to those memorials in the care of the wider community.”

The £20,000 will allocated from the authority’s £704,600 budget for repairs and maintenance for the buildings it owns.

Officers will write to owners of land on which memorials are situated to seek permission to carry out the work. Memorials at Carlisle Cemetery in Richardson Street and the Longtown Memorial Hall are among those on the list, as well as ones in Cumwhinton, Great Corby, Raughtonhead and Scaleby.

Dozens of others can be found in churchyards.

The city council has previously said it would be allocating funding for its memorials, including a major renovation of the Rickerby Park memorial.

Meanwhile, a vigil is due to be held in Carlisle Cathedral on August 4 to mark the centenary.

The Carlisle and Stanwix branch of the Royal British Legion also says plans are underway to create memorial walks taking in the city’s 40-plus memorial plaques, gates, buildings and monuments.


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