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STEP SHORT: take part in our arch poll

By Folkestone Herald  |  Posted: September 29, 2013

StepShortArch

StepShortArch

Comments (21)

AS IS revealed in this week's Herald, Shepway taxpayers may have to fork out another £19,000 for controversial First World War memorial charity Step Short project, which is already costing the public purse some £400,000.

Local residents may end up having to foot the bill for a heritage officer because Step Short has failed to meet its part of the bill.

Now we want to hear YOUR views.

The latest development comes in an increasingly bitter row over the cost of the monument to mark the centenary of WW1's outbreak.

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The arch has been compared to one half of the of the burger giant McDonald's 'M' and would be sited yards away from the town centre fast food restaurant.

Last week Folkestone resident Nick Spurrier questioned not only whether the public funding was appropriat but also whether the planned memorial arch was needed at all.

Now we want your thoughts. Have your say in our poll (below right) - and to give us a fuller opinion, e-mail eleanor.jones@KRNmedia.co.uk

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21 comments

  • FrankieB  |  October 10 2013, 10:47AM

    I find it incredible that the "Town's CCTV is falling apart" (front page news in today's Folkestone Herald) and at the same time almost twice the amount needed to update the CCTV is being wasted on a memorial that will in the future be mistaken for half a McDonald s logo by tourists and visitors, causing nothing but confusion (and laughs!). I suggest McDonald s should pay for this Arch as they will anyway be the only beneficiaries. Instead, I like the idea of planting Rosemary on the Road of Remembrance. This would be much more appropriate - and free! Every time a crime goes unsolved due to faulty and outdated CCTV equipment, the council is guilty!

    |   7
  • Folkestonian  |  October 07 2013, 10:10PM

    Just along the Leas you can see "Folk Stones", an artwork commemorating the 19,240 British soldiers who were killed on 1st July 1916, the first day of the Battle of the Somme. The Arch will mark the start of their fateful journey down the Road of Remembrance - to the Front. It will feature among the photographs of the many visitors we can expect for the Centenary and thereafter. As a Folkestone tax-payer, I am happy for my twopenn'orth to be a part of it.

    |   -9
  • reidragon  |  October 07 2013, 1:37PM

    Folkestone is a seaside resort which has been allowed to just fade away over the years and is badly in need of major rejuvenation, it certainly does not need yet another memorial. The amount of money being proposed for this monument is ridiculous, if the people wanting to spend it truly had Folkestone in mind they would use it for cleaning up local attractions like the 'Sunny Sands' beach for instance is really does need a good clean-up. Come on Folkestone Councillors put Folkestone first and make it a popular 'HOLIDAY' resort once again not a mausoleum.

    |   4
  • jonski  |  October 04 2013, 3:38PM

    400k that could have been better used funding youth and family groups rather than half a Mcdonalds sign!!

    |   8
  • carole23  |  October 03 2013, 2:45PM

    Arches like this were built by Saddam Hussein and are very popular in Arab states. Due to the cost of this arch it is not something that Folkestone needs.

    |   8
  • PILOTE  |  October 02 2013, 1:23PM

    A COMMENT ON FACEBOOK BY Paddy O'Connor . . . . . I believe there may be a case for a memorial other than a purely decorative item which, in my view, could be considered a horrendously frivolous item under present financial constraints. Consideration should have been given to providing a memorial which would be of practical use to the community. I'm not saying these should be the answer but one should cast one's mind back to the 20's and 30's, when memorial halls were built and have served the communities in more practical ways.

    |   3
  • PILOTE  |  September 29 2013, 9:59PM

    AN EARLY McDONALDS SIGN . . . HOW IS THAT A MEMORIAL . . . . ????? Oh I don't think the outlet on the corner give backhanders and bribes ... But no money to spend on things in the town or fix the CCTV . . . . ? ?

    |   9
  • Jay_ceew  |  September 29 2013, 4:17PM

    Yes suziashworth, it is also wrong as says I have voted and I haven't.

    |   -1
  • Drifter47  |  September 29 2013, 1:29PM

    I originally supported what was to become Step Short as the original idea was to tidy up the Road of Remembrance (clean the memorial cairn?) and replant the road with Rosemary (William Shakespeare's Ophelia "There's rosemary that's for remembrance") along with having the Harbour Canteen visitor books digitalised. Although I now have my doubts about commemorating the start of the conflict in 1914 and not in fact celebrating the end and remembering the dead and wounded in 2018, I am completely against the way the arch project has been funded from Kent County Council, Shepway District Council and Folkestone Town Council. This is not a case of sour grapes on my part, I do want to see recognition of the part that Folkestone played in the Great War, and this could have been easily achieved very simply with the replanting and exhibitions and perhaps a simple plaque sited near to what was the Harbour Station. Contributions from the public and the 'great and good' were and should have been enough to fund these simple projects and it was I am afraid to say an over enthusiastic executive (and their consultants) who did not think of the risks of coming up short with the funding of an over ambitious private project that will now cost the tax payer hundreds of thousands of pounds. Then there was the questionable haste in the decision to fund the project with the £200,000. In the documents released under the FOI Act, it starts with an email dated 28th May from Cllr. Alan Clifton-Holt to the head of Planning, Chris Lewis, and saying; "Subject: Step short & event funding. Chris I have been asked by the leader to arrange for a report to be produced indicating SDC will support Step Short to the tune of £200k in the building of the arch. Therefore could a report to be written and sent to me for approval before going to cabinet, I understand the timeline the leader is working on is for it to be approved at the 19th June Cabinet which I know does not leave you long. Many thanks Alan" Read through all of these documents on http://tinyurl.com/pnscdqp and judge for yourself how a substantial sum of public funds from Council reserves can be so easily given when there was no public consultation before the council chose to commit them to what appears to be a private project? By my calculation, from start to finish in May and June this year, it took the Council sixteen working days to 'railroad' through that money. Will anyone stand up challenge this arrogant Tory controlled council for what may 'misappropriating' this money?

    |   16
  • nivenj  |  September 28 2013, 10:51AM

    As a Veteran who is extremely proud of our armed forces, both past and present, I don't need nor appreciate a £400K+ monument to remind me of those that gave and still give for this country. I find it disgusting that an obscene amount of money could be spent in the name of those that gave, when in reality, it achieves nothing more than lining the pockets of greedy. If those commissioned to design and build this are sincere in their wish to build a monument to those that gave, a simple plaque will suffice. Grotesque displays of wealth are not the basis on which we fought and put our lives on the line for.

    |   24

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