Beacons to light up vandal-hit Tunstall War Memorial
SOLAR-POWERED lights which were stolen from a war memorial just 11 days after being installed are to be reinstated after an £800 cash boost.
Two one-metre high beacons will be positioned to light up Tunstall's War Memorial.
And to protect them from being targeted by thieves and vandals, they will be secured in metal cages.
The Friends of Tunstall War Memorial Committee secured the grant after applying for funding from the Partners Assuring a Safer Staffordshire (PASS).
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The charity was formed by Staffordshire Police to provide funding for positive community action to reduce crime and the fear of crime.
Doug Green, chairman of the Friends, said: "The memorial was opened almost three years ago after a long campaign.
"And last year, just days before Armistice Day, the lights were stolen. We were gutted."
The 82-year-old, of Clanway Street, Tunstall, added: "So I wrote to a number of different people in the hope we could get some money to get the lights put back in before this year's Armistice Day celebrations."
The Friends handed over a cheque to Stoke-on-Trent City Council yesterday before work on installing the lamps starts.
The lights cost £461.96 with the protective cages costing a further £300.
Mr Green added: "The money will cover all of the work that needs to be done, which will hopefully safeguard the lights from future vandalism.
"I will be very disappointed if we get any other issues with the lights at the memorial.
"I plead with everyone to please leave the war memorial as it is.
"I would also like to thank the committee in all the work they have done in helping to secure the money and will look forward to work beginning."
The war memorial – which commemorates the lives of 648 people – was officially unveiled in 2009.
Councillor Andy Platt, cabinet member for city services and green enterprise, said: "To raise £800 is a tremendous achievement and credit must go to all those who have worked hard to gain this funding.
"Ensuring that the war memorial remains well lit and free from vandalism is important so hopefully this work can go a long way to keeping it a site we can all be very proud of." The Sentinel reported in June that 14 reports of anti-social behaviour had been investigated by police at the site since Christmas.