September 23, 2015
Veteran's dismay as council rejects maritime plaques funding bid

A Burnham-On-Sea war veteran says he has been left "livid" by Sedgemoor District Council's decision not to give any funding for the installation of two seafront plaques recognising the town's maritime war history.

Neville Jones, pictured with the artwork for the plaques, applied for a £2,000 grant from the council towards the overall cost of designing, creating and installing two special plaques that are due to be unveiled on Burnham's Esplanade this Saturday.

They mark the 75th anniversary since America gave Britain 50 destroyers, known as 'Gift Horses', to fight Hitler’s German navy - one of which was HMS Burnham - that helped to create a special bond between Burnham-On-Sea and Burnham in Illinois, America.

Neville told "I have been working hard on this project for many months and submitted full details to Sedgemoor District Council in time for the latest meeting of its Grants Panel, only to hear that the application has now been unsuccessful."

"These plaques are of national importance and Sedgemoor should be honoured they are coming here to Burnham and be keen to support them. The Town Council has already given a £2,000 grant, so why on earth can't Sedgemoor see the merrit too? I am livid and disgusted that they are showing no interest."

He added: "I will have to find the remaining funding from my own pocket, which is disgraceful."

Claire Faun, spokeswoman for Sedgemoor District Council, told "The Grants Panel did not agree the funding for the plaques. We have set criteria for all grant applications to make the process fair and transparent for all organisations and individuals who apply. Unfortunately, the panel felt that this application did not meet the criteria, so it was not approved."

Ironically, the two plaques have already been manufactured ahead of this Saturday's ceremony and both feature Sedgemoor's logo. It's also understood that the Chairman and Chief Executive of the council are due to atend the unveiling ceremony.


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