Melton Council defends criticism of VE Day event

Mayor of Melton John Wyatt, pictured after lighting the beacon on Play Close to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day 'LH2180-01 : �Lionel Heap : EMN-151105-102013001
Mayor of Melton John Wyatt, pictured after lighting the beacon on Play Close to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day 'LH2180-01 : �Lionel Heap : EMN-151105-102013001
0
Have your say

Melton Council has reacted to critical comments about a beacon-lighting service it organised to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day.

Meltonian Brian Ward, a member of the Melton branch of the Royal British Legion, described Friday’s event on the Play Close as ‘pathetic’ and said it was not worthy of commemorating such an important moment in history.

Mr Ward, who served with the 1st Battalion of the Leicestershire Regiment and the 3rd Battalion of the Worcestershire and Sherwood Foresters, was disappointed that more borough councillors did not turn up and that there was not more of an official reception for the Legion members and service personnel from the Defence Animal Centre who were there.

He said: “It was pathetic but I could use stronger words. Melton Borough Council should hang their heads with shame and apologise. The mayor was there but I didn’t see any other councillors. There wasn’t anyone there from the council to meet and greet people.”

Harry Rai, the council’s head of communities and neighbourhoods, said: “We did contact the Royal British Legion beforehand and were told there were no other events taking place to mark VE Day so we thought it was appropriate to hold one.

“This was not a formal event. I’m not aware how many councillors attended but the mayor was there and it was a Friday, it was council election day and the weather wasn’t great.

“We have had some very good feedback on Facebook and we were very pleased that we were able to put together an event to commemorate the anniversary of VE Day.”