Memorial repair grants will help honour county’s Fallen

Bicester Advertiser: British Legion member John Wells at Bodicote’s war memorial. Picture : OX68118 Simon Williams Buy this photo British Legion member John Wells at Bodicote’s war memorial. Picture : OX68118 Simon Williams

GRANT funding from Cherwell District Council to renovate dilapidated war memorials has been described as “brilliant” by the Royal British Legion.

John Wells, branch secretary of the Legion branch in Bodicote, Banbury, praised Cherwell District Council’s plan to give local councils and community groups the chance to apply for a total of £20,000 worth of funding.

Each organisation can be awarded a maximum of £2,500 to renovate their war memorials.

He said: “It is a brilliant idea.

“There are memorials in the villages that are in a state, this money will bring them up to scratch.”

Mr Wells said he intended to look into applying for a grant as the names, inscribed in wood, on the village’s memorial could be improved.

The memorial, which is in the churchyard of St John the Baptist Church, was built in 1920 using funds donated by villagers.

Other councils have also set aside cash for renovation work.

South Oxfordshire District Council and Vale of White Horse District Council have allocated funds from their Capital Community Grant Scheme.

Residents in South Oxfordshire can also apply for a grant to renovate war memorials from the New Homes Bonus Scheme.

West Oxfordshire District Council ran a scheme, now closed, this year for community groups to apply for funding to commemorate the First World War.

In Oxford, the main war memorial in St Giles is maintained by the city council which also helped fund the restoration of the memorial at St Margaret’s Church, North Oxford.

Restoration work at St Margaret’s started on August 1, 2011, including renovation to timber and stonework. Plaques were also restored in October the same year.

Bicester Advertiser:

The memorial at St Margaret’s Church, North Oxford, was restored in 2011 after an appeal

A spokeswoman for Bicester Town Council said work would be carried out on its memorial this year but added that the renovation was being organised by the RBL, which can apply for grant funding.

Julian Dancer, of Banbury Town Council, said plans to renovate the town’s memorial were still in the early stages, but said it will also consider applying for a grant.

Cherwell District Council’s lead member for finance, Ken Atack, announcing the new grant, said: “These memorials are permanent reminders of the First World War and other subsequent conflicts. It’s fitting that we should make sure they are kept in pristine condition and commemorate the sacrifice made in both world wars.”

The Cherwell fund will be open for applications until March 31 next year, and will pay for cleaning, renovating inscriptions, repairing materials and adding names.

For more details, call 01295 or email nicola.riley@cherwell-dc.gov.uk

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Comments (1)

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10:13am Tue 24 Jun 14

Quentin Walker says...

The upkeep of war memorials should be included in a council's statutory responsibilities and not subject to goodwill or charitable grants.
The upkeep of war memorials should be included in a council's statutory responsibilities and not subject to goodwill or charitable grants. Quentin Walker
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