A PUBLIC consultation is underway regarding plans to retain a memorial sculpture as well as create a new 'area of reflection' in a town centre. Uttoxeter Town Council, in collaboration with the town's Royal British Legion, is asking for residents to put forward their views surrounding plans to turn the area around the town's Market Place War Memorial into “an area where people can sit and reflect and have as a lasting tribute.”
Uttoxeter’s war memorial was rededicated a few years ago and was, again, updated this year by the addition of the names of those who were omitted when the memorial was built.
Also this year, in commemoration of 100 years since the end of the First World War, a sculpture depicting Captain Oswald Bamford, a relative of a local industrial family, was commissioned and installed in the Market Place.
However, the planning permission gained for the sculpture was only for it to be a temporary installation.
Uttoxeter Town Clerk Tina Jeffery said: “Unfortunately we only have a temporary planning permission to site the sculpture and in a few weeks it must be removed.”
Now the town council and Uttoxeter Branch of the Royal British Legion would like to see the sculpture as a permanent memorial in the town, and would also like to see the formation of a dedicated area for people to sit and remember the fallen.
Chairman of Uttoxeter’s Royal British Legion Philip Hudson said: “We feel that the area around the war memorial should be developed into an area where people can sit and reflect and have a lasting tribute to the fallen.
“What better way to say ‘thank you’ to the brave people than to have an area dedicated to their memory.”
The sculpture of Captain Oswald Bamford was designed by well-known Stoke-on-Trent sculptor Andy Edwards and created by Staffordshire-based PM Training.
Captain Bamford died in a hail of German gunfire while serving with The North Staffordshire Regiment at the Battle of Loos on October 13th, 1915. He was one of 15 Uttoxeter men who died in battle in the space of a few hours – a day remembered as one of the blackest in the town’s history.
Mrs Jeffrey said: “The overwhelming positive response from members of the public to the siting of the WW1 memorial sculpture by the war memorial demonstrates that many Uttoxeter residents appreciate the significance of this area of the Market Place and welcome moves to designate it more formally as an area for respecting and remembering the fallen from Uttoxeter.
“People regularly ask the town council why the area cannot be better secured to prevent illegal parking.
“The town council would like to see the installation of extra bollards to prevent parking on this area, and would invite residents’ views on the idea of this being designated as an area of quiet reflection, with suitable seating and the retention of the World War One memorial sculpture.”
The consultation launch comes after Uttoxeter Town Council raised concerns that they do not want their town’s market place to be turned into a metered car park.
The concerns were raised during debates at Uttoxeter Town Hall regarding a Draft Feasibility Study Report which is currently being carried out between the town council and Staffordshire County Council with regards to parking in the town centre.
Residents views on the proposals for an area of reflection and also for the retention of the sculpture, can be forwarded FAO The Town Clerk by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or to Uttoxeter Town Council, The Town Hall, High Street, Uttoxeter, Staffordshire. ST14 7HN.
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