LET’S get the ball rolling for improvements in Elland.

Those were the words of a community group leader and councillors as the town’s giant commemorative stone welcome sign was officially unveiled to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The stonework – actually comprising two stones – was unveiled by Neil Davidson, the Queen’s Deputy Lieutenant for West Yorkshire, MP Craig Whittaker, councillors, representatives of three businesses and Joe Braithwaite, chairman of the Elland and District Partnership (EDP).

The tribute has been positioned by the town’s figure of eight roundabout, to be known as the Jubilee Islands, near to Lowfields Business Park.

Its inscription reads: ‘Welcome to Elland, Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee 1952-2012.’

Those present all agreed it was a fitting tribute – and also the start of improvements in the district.

Mr Braithwaite, chairman of the EDP, said: “The idea was first conceived at a meeting of the EDP and residents have already welcomed the stones.

“I’ve had people phoning me up to say how great it looks.

“It is a fitting tribute to the Queen and it’s something to welcome people to Elland, which is what we want to do more of.

“It has all been done completely free of charge thanks to Marshalls Mono of Elland and Southowram, Marshalls Construction and Traffic Management Safety Solutions. They took our idea and made it happen.

“I hope it’s the start of more improvements. We’ve ideas but we want more because it’s the small things which can improve the look of the town.”

Deputy Lieutenant Mr Davidson, who works for Marshalls Mono, said: “I am pleased to be attending the unveiling in what is my second engagement as Deputy Lieutenant.

“The stone itself is about 280 million years old.”

Clr John Ford added: “Things like this do make a difference, it shows things are happening in Elland.

“The development of the supermarket will bring improvements to the town, there will be footpaths linking it with Elland town centre and the whole idea is to bring more people into Elland town centre to benefit the whole town, rather than them having to go to Halifax or Huddersfield.”

The EDP has its AGM on November 29 at 7pm at Willow Court and the group is appealing for more suggestions on how the town can be improved .

Members are already looking at installing seats in Hullen Edge Park and campaigning for improvements to the shelter in the park’s recreation area and repairs to the broken shelter roof at Hoyle Park, West Vale.

The EDP has funded new Christmas lights for the town centre, which will be lit up on December 7.

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