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Basildon councillors to discuss new funding for 75th celebrations of VE Day

18 Feb Basildon councillors to discuss new funding for 75th celebrations of VE Day

Basildon councillors are set to discuss new funding for celebrations to mark 75 years since the declaration of Victory in Europe (VE Day) during World War Two, along with the next steps towards a new borough war memorial.

The next meeting of the Housing and Communities Committee on 25 February will consider authorising £13,000 for community events to commemorate the remarkable day.

Councillor Kerry Smith said: “We are honoured to support locally lead celebrations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day, and to remember those who lost their lives fighting against Nazism.

“We’re funding a main event in St Martin’s Square on the Bank Holiday (Friday 8 May 2020) and weekend events with 1940s themes, in Wickford High Street, the George Hurd Centre, Laindon Activity Centre, and Pitsea Activity Centre.

“We hope everyone in the borough finds a moment to acknowledge our lost soldiers, and the tens of millions of individuals who did not live to see the hard-fought and terribly won freedom we now enjoy across the UK.”

The committee will also consider the next steps in creating a new war memorial for Basildon Town Centre that incorporates all of the names listed on war memorials in the Borough.

The new memorial is proposed for St Martin’s Square.

There are 12 War Memorials in Basildon Borough commemorating the loss of life across the region, and around 800 names of those who died in WW2 are thought to be listed locally.

A local stone mason is working with the council on possible designs options.

The committee will consider a proposal on the 25 February to include public comment on the design and concept during the lead up to the VE Day commemorations.