COUNCILLORS want extra money to honour soldiers who died in war.
A special Kirklees Council war memorial scrutiny panel met yesterday for the first time.
The panel, which includes three councillors, has made an urgent request for £30,000 in next year’s council budget to improve war memorials in Kirklees.
The council spends about £15,000 a year maintaining more than 30 monuments. But the panel believes extra money is needed to deal with problems such as subsidence, vandalism and disabled access.
The panel – which also includes members of the Royal British Legion and the Royal Air Force Association – also wants to ensure that every local soldier who died in conflict is honoured at their local memorial.
Chairman Clr Dave Sheard said there was a serious problem.
He added: “There are many more war graves in Kirklees than I originally thought. A lot of people who are buried in war graves in Kirklees are not mentioned on their local memorial.”
And the panel wants a policy set out for adding new names to memorials.
Clr Sheard said: “We’ve had requests, for example, from the families of serving soldiers who died in road accidents. We want to clarify the council’s position, to lay down some rules.”
The panel, which includes councillors from the Lib Dems and the BNP, also wants to create a database of all war memorials in Kirklees.
Clr Sheard added: “We would like to put the names on the Internet. There has been an increase in family research in recent years and the database would be a way for people to check that their loved ones haven’t been forgotten.
“It would also allow schoolchildren who learn about the world wars to see where their grandfather is honoured.”
The panel has compiled a list of more than 30 war memorials in Kirklees.
But Clr Sheard has asked Examiner readers to help fill in any gaps. He said: “We need to make a list of all the war memorials in the district, whether they are maintained by the council or not. It’s important that those who gave their lives for their country are recognised.”