A couple have been threatened with court action after erecting a protest banner on the side of their home.
Lynda and Ian Birtwell, of Hill House Farm, Huncoat are both members of the Friends of Huncoat War Memorial and Recreation Ground group and erected a banner on the side of their property calling on the war memorial to remain in its current location.
Community campaigners and council bosses have been at odds since the relocation of the memorial from the top of a hill off Higher Gate to the corner of Lower Gate Road was rubber stamped by Hyndburn’s cabinet in December. Mr and Mrs Birtwell felt passionate about the memorial remaining in its current location and were ‘shocked’ when they received a summons from Hyndburn council demanding they remove the banner.
Mrs Birtwell said: “We feel quite incensed actually, I put the banner up because I care about the memorial. We are not selling or advertising anything, the banner simply says ‘let them rest in peace’. There’s no grave for these people, the memorial is their resting place. The summons is a bit heavy handed, it is not nice to get a letter like this.”
The couple say they have been told they need to remove the banner in the next two weeks or face court action as they live in a listed building and require permission to make changes to the outside of their property.
The council closed a month-long consultation on the war memorial move on Friday, March 27.
Jackie Rawstron, who is on the Friends of Huncoat War Memorial committee, said: “There is an overwhelming feeling that people don’t want it moving, this is very personal to a lot of people. To me this consultation feels like they are just going through the motions, whether they will pay attention I don’t know.”
The memorial group says it has had 200 yes/no ballots returned, with 196 in favour of its cause, and has sent more than 70 letters to the council and has 223 likes on its Facebook page. The council, which is currently collating responses ahead of a decision on the proposed move after the local elections, has as yet been unavailable to comment on the issue of the banner’s removal.
Coun Ken Moss said: “All information is being looked at and further options considered.”