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Disgusting! Councillors up in arms over state of war memorial gardens in Sheringham

Sheringham turned out to pay its respects with a wreath-laying service at the town's war memorial. Picture: ALLY McGILVRAY

Sheringham turned out to pay its respects with a wreath-laying service at the town's war memorial. Picture: ALLY McGILVRAY

Archant

Disgusted councillors are up in arms over the state of the war memorial gardens in Sheringham after being told some of the weeds were as high as the roses.

And now they are involved in a battle with the council amid fears it is being deliberately neglected to force them to take on responsibility for the future maintenance of the site.

Sheringham Town Council claimed it has been ignored after writing to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to demand details of the contract to maintain the gardens, currently held by Kier, and whether it was being fulfilled.

It has agreed to take on the custodianship of the town’s war memorial.

But members have refused to take over responsibilty for the gardens amid concerns local residents could end up paying twice for its upkeep through council tax levied by the town and district councils.

Mayor David Gooch said: “We wrote a strongly-worded email to NNDC and before the end of the week they had put some plants in.”

But he added: “The grass was appalling and still is; the hedge was appalling - it still is; and the weeds in the rose beds were as high as the roses - and still are. We’ve asked for details of the work schedules but have been ignored.”

The landmark in the Boulevard remembers the men and women of Sheringham and Beeston Regis who lost their lives in conflicts around the world.

Councillor Mac McGinn said: “They are deliberately doing this to force us to take it on. This is going to take quite a lot of work and we do not have the workforce to do it. We shouldn’t take it when it is their responsbility.”

But Councillor Liz Withington conceded the council may have no choice. She said: “If you give a shoddy enough service, you’re forcing the town council, which is reliant on tourism, to take it on.”

The town council agreed to write again to NNDC to demand action.

Councillor Aubrey Poberefsky said: “I feel very strongly about this, we pay council tax and they have a contract to do the gardens - what are they going to do about it? Is Kier fulfilling the contract? If not let’s get a new contract.”

Councillor Peter Cox said: “It’s not just the war memorial gardens that are being neglected. (Keir) obviously have problems with the contract. Every major town in North Norfolk is having some problem.”

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