THE future of the Area of Reflection planned for Uttoxeter’s town centre has been thrown into doubt after the incorrect permit was issued. Uttoxeter Town Council announced last week that work to create a permanent Area of Reflection around the town’s War Memorial and featuring the commemorative Bamford plaque, had been given the green light.
Staffordshire County Council (SCC) has resisted the permanent erection of the Bamford plaque – and incorrectly issued a ‘permit to dig’ which allows the town council’s plans to go ahead.
SCC confirmed yesterday (Tuesday) that a new permit, allowing the plaque to be displayed temporarily each year during the period of Remembrance, was being issued to the town council. David Williams, Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport at Staffordshire County Council said: “We have always supported the idea of displaying the feature as part of the town’s commemorations for Armistice Day. We are currently working with the Town Council on a wider highways scheme to improve the area around the war memorial.
“The improvements would prevent vehicles from accessing the area and include the installation of benches as an area of reflection. These benches would be removed each November to allow for the feature to be displayed.”
The town council first considered creating an Area of Reflection in 2018, following centenary commemorations of the First World War. East Staffordshire Borough Council granted planning permission for the permanent erection of the Bamford plaque along with a bench and bollards to prevent people parking by the War Memorial.
SCC has always maintained that the plaque should be temporarily put in place for two weeks each November, then swapped with a bench for the rest of the time. Receipt of the permit to dig last week was met with celebrations from the town council, amidst hopes the Area of Reflection would be ready for this year’s Remembrance Sunday and offer a permanent place for people to pay their respects through the year.
Following the news last week that work could begin, town and district council member and Chair of the Uttoxeter Royal British Legion Philip Hudson said “I am absolutely overwhelmed that we have this permission and wish to express my sincere thanks to everyone who showed their support for this wonderful token of appreciation in memory of all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.”
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