A WORKINGTON councillor has taken responsibility for a contentious planning application that proposed the Duffield Beacon be moved.

It had been mooted that a VE Day statue replace the beacon, with the West Cumbria Independent group citing safety issues with the monument in Workington’s Vulcans Park.

Independent councillor Carole Armstrong made a statement at the Workington Town Council meeting on Wednesday night, as well as saying that the VE Day statue would now be placed in a different location.

Councillor Armstrong said: “I am personally taking ownership and responsibility for the planning application that went in regarding the beacon. I am not here to say who, why what or how it happened but I am here to let you know that the VE statue will go in another location and the beacon will be dealt with when all agencies involved respond.”

The change in decision comes after a huge backlash from Labour and Conservative councillors and even the constituency MP Mark Jenkinson.

The beacon was a gift to the town of Workington from British Steel to reflect the impact that the town and its people had on the steel industry all over the world.

Earlier this year, the town council performed a consultation to understand the feeling of the town after much debate around the beacon’s removal from its place in Vulcans Park.

At Wednesday's meeting Cllr Armstrong confirmed that there had only been 12 responses to a consultation created for the public to have their say.

She said: “We got 12 back: two said remove it, about four said they couldn’t care less, two said leave it and put flowers in it and two said they would like it lit.”

The news comes after Independent group leader Paul Scott, when asked last week whether the beacon would be changed, said: “Probably not”.

Plans are now in place to see whether or not the beacon can be relit in time for the Queen’s platinum jubilee next year.