Society: Council's "abject failure" to protect town's heritage

Society: Council's "abject failure" to protect town's heritage

Society: Council's "abject failure" to protect town's heritage

Society: Council's "abject failure" to protect town's heritage

First published in News by , Reporter

THE CHAIRMAN of a society campaigning for funding to repair a historic Marlow landmark has slammed the "abject failure" of the council responsible for maintaining it.

Martin Blunkell and the Marlow Society have been lobbying Bucks County Council since 2012 to carry out work on the Grade II listed obelisk at the top of the High Street.

The waypoint marker for travelling coaches was erected in 1822, and has deteriorated in recent years with whole sections of stone lettering having crumbled and broken away.

After repeated attempts to get Transport for Buckinghamshire to carry out maintenance works, Marlow Town Council and the Marlow Society are now planning to apply for lottery funding to regenerate the stone.

And Mr Blunkell said the county council is failing the people of Marlow in trying to protect their heritage.

He said: "This is a Grade II listed structure and it seems an abject failure on Bucks County Council’s part to look after it. They had not considered that they should put some money aside to maintain it.

"BCC have failed in their duty as they are responsible for the obelisk. They failed us and they continue to do so.

"They answer we got tells us they have not got any money to pay for our heritage. If you do not understand your history understand your heritage, and it is important we do.

"If they had a maintenance plan, including inspections, it would not have got as bad as it has. But ten out of ten for Marlow Town Council for trying to get this sorted out."

The obelisk, which sits in the centre of the roundabout at the top of the High Street, was part of a turnpike route between Hatfield, Wycombe, Marlow and Bath.

The journey was made by travellers who wanted to take the benefit of the spa waters in Bath and became known as the ‘Gout Route’.

Marlow Town Council is currently finalising a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund to pay for the repairs, which includes repairing the south facing side of the large stone where the lettering has fallen away.

The society estimates the bill will run to around £8000.

But the criteria for a grant of up to £10,000 must prove the scheme has a real community benefit, with councillors and society members currently exploring ways of getting Marlovians involved in the rejuvenation process.

Rosemary Bryant, spokesman for Transport for Bucks, said there were no funds currently in pace to carry out the work.

She said: "I have spoken to the local area technician who was given the quote for repair last year. As the condition of the obelisk does not pose a safety hazard, there is not unfortunately funding for this work at present.

"However, this may be considered by the South West Chilterns Local Area Forum local through their delegated budget if it is a high priority for the local community."

Comments (3)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

8:33am Sat 12 Apr 14

tigeran says...

I am afraid councils are no longer what they should be. They are only interested in building eyesores everywhere on whatever land they can desecrate next with no thought for the future or past, purely to make money and line their pockets.
I am afraid councils are no longer what they should be. They are only interested in building eyesores everywhere on whatever land they can desecrate next with no thought for the future or past, purely to make money and line their pockets. tigeran
  • Score: 2

8:34am Sat 12 Apr 14

tigeran says...

Lol! Just read the next news item! Says it all!
Lol! Just read the next news item! Says it all! tigeran
  • Score: 1

10:59am Sat 12 Apr 14

Mr Methane says...

There is a related milepost outside the new housing estate on the school playing fields in Wycombe Road. Maybe the developers could be approached form some cash.
There is a related milepost outside the new housing estate on the school playing fields in Wycombe Road. Maybe the developers could be approached form some cash. Mr Methane
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree