Royal British Legion describes proposals to move Skegness War Memorial as ‘outrageous’

War Memorial near St Matthew's Church, Skegness.
War Memorial near St Matthew's Church, Skegness.

Town councillors have proposed moving Skegness War Memorial in a bid to reduce the cost of a planned revamp - but the idea has been branded ‘outrageous’ by the Royal British Legion.

The scheme, which includes increasing the size of the base and creating a new wall next to the memorial in Lumley Avenue is estimated to total £99,000.

A major part of the cost arises from using stone in keeping with neighbouring St Matthew’s Church, which is a listed building.

Skegness Town Council was granted planning permission for the improvement scheme in June.

They currently have set aside £10,000 towards the project and received a £2,000 donation from the Civic Society leaving an £87,000 shortfall. No other suitable sources of funding have been found.

Councillors suggested moving the war memorial to alternative locations in the town to ensure the improvements can be carried out. Speaking at Wednesday’s town council meeting Coun Steve Kirk proposed placing the war memorial at Compass Gardens on the foreshore.

He said: “I would like to propose the only way is to look at this is to relocate the war memorial where we could do the work required but at much lower cost. People think that Remembrance Sunday is a Church of England Service, but that is not the case. ”

He added: “I wish there was a simple answer, I do not want to be disrespectful, but nor do I want to move £90,000 out of reserves. That is a fiver for everybody in Skegness.”

Coun Maggie Gray described Compass Gardens as ‘the perfect place’ for the war memorial and said that residents would ‘applaud the council for doing something’.

Coun Dick Edginton recommended moving the war memorial to the junction of Lumley Avenue and Lumley Road.

He said: “The figures are quite daunting if we want to proceed we have to hope money can come in from other sources. The only way to progress is to consider an alternative location.”

However plans to relocate the memorial were strongly criticised by Skegness Royal British Legion branch chairman Les Constantine.

He said: “It would be outrageous if the war memorial was moved. Members of the public would go bananas. It would cost more time and money than leaving it where it is.”

The project is intended for completion in 2018 to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War.

Town clerk Steve Larner said: “The proposal to move the memorial has not been investigated in any way and it may not be possible or desirable to move it. The first priority we need is to have discussions with the church and Royal British Legion.”