Council backing for bridge dedication

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PROPOSALS to dedicate the new footbridge on the West Pier to two of Whitby’s fallen soldiers moved one step closer this week.

Senior councillors gave their backing to plans to name the structure in memory of Corporal Damian Lawrence who was killed in February 2008 and Crafstman Andrew Found who died a year ago.

Both soldiers were on active duty in Afghanistan at the time of their deaths.

The idea to rename the new bridge, set to be completed in the coming weeks, was put forward by Whitby resident Colin Winspear and subsequently backed by the Whitby Gazette and Whitby Town Council.

Members of the Scarborough Borough Council cabinet discussed the idea at its meeting on Tuesday but final decisons will rest with Whitby Harbour Board.

However, councillors were unanimous in their support.

The leader of SBC, Coun Tom Fox said: “It is a wonderful acknowledgement. Two remarkable young men who were lost long before their time – it would be a wonderful gesture by the borough to do it.”

Coun Jane Kenyon added: “These are two fantastic young people that gave their lives to the country and it is a fantastic way of dedicating it.”

Coun Mike Cockerill, who fronts the Harbour Board said he was keen to get input from cabinet as SBC is funding the new link bridge.

It is hoped that the new bridge will be finished and open before the start of the school holidays and a dedication ceremony can be arranged.

A plaque will be fitted to the bridge to mark the dedication and Whitby Harbour Board have now been delegated the decision of deciding upon the text for the plaque - which is set to cost around £800 for purchasing and mounting and will be paid for from the harbour board budget.

After the meeting, Colin Winspear, who consulted with the members of both soldier’s families on his suggestion, told the Gazette: “I am delighted, and relieved, at the proposal going through to the next and hopefully final, stage.”