An insult to heroes

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Campaigners today accused Chorley Council of allowing the town’s moss-covered cenotaph to become an ‘insult’ to war heroes.

Coun Ralph Snape and the Royal British Legion claim the council has refused to foot a £2,000 bill to clean the memorial in Astley Park.

They are now calling on council bosses to re-consider the decision and claim the moss is so thick on the stone statue that the inscriptions are barely visible.

Coun Snape said: “The cenotaph is in a shocking state and it really is an insult to the town’s men and women who died during the wars.

“It is meant to be a place to honour their ultimate sacrifice, but it’s disgusting.

“The area surrounding the memorial has all been cleared and the park staff have done an excellent job, but the memorial is full of green moss and you can barely read the inscription that says it is also dedicated to those who died during World War Two.

“I don’t think £2,000 is a lot to ask when you consider the price the soldiers paid when fighting for our freedom, especially when so much has been spent on the park.

“Astley Park itself was donated to the people of Chorley by the Tatton family as a war memorial and it is shameful.

“I hate to think what the soldiers would think if they could see the cenotaph now.”

Coun Snape said officers had received quotes from experts to clean the cenotaph and they were in excess of £2,000, a figure the council said it could not afford. However, chairman of the Chorley Branch of the British Legion, Glyn Gaskell said: “It doesn’t seem a lot to ask.

“I have been out and bleached the step on the cenotaph myself before Remembrance Day so people wouldn’t slip.

“It’s obvious something needs to be done – £2,000 is peanuts to the council.”

A project is currently being undertaken by the Chorley Pals Memorial to secure funding to include the names of all soldiers who died during the wars on the cenotaph for the first time.

They are in the process of raising £20,000 towards the project and hope to secure major grants to help cover the costs.

Donna Hall, Chorley Council’s Chief Executive, said: “We agree the cenotaph does need to be cleaned and we’re arranging for it to be done as soon as possible.”