Angry protesters gather at Havant war memorial

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DEMONSTRATORS have gathered in Havant to protest against a proposal to move the town’s war memorial.

Around 30 people waved placards and shouted ‘Hands off Havant’ to show their anger at proposals to move the memorial and knock down some of the old buildings in nearby East Street.

16/10/12      JT''Protest at the Havant War Memorial about the possibility of it being moved.''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (123378-2)

16/10/12 JT''Protest at the Havant War Memorial about the possibility of it being moved.''Picture: Paul Jacobs (123378-2)

The protest came a fortnight after the 90th anniversary of the war memorial, which was dedicated at Havant’s crossroads on September, 30 1922 to all the men of Havant who lost their lives in the First World War.

It comes after Havant Borough Council carried out a public consultation over the summer on proposals to regenerate the East Street area.

The proposals included an option to move the war memorial into a new pedestrianised plaza next to the St Faith’s Church in West Street.

Another option was to move it into new public gardens of St Faith’s Church.

But protestors today delivered a strong message to the council.

Jackie Bampton, 67, of Mitchell Road, Bedhampton, said: ‘If they insist on going through with it, we will chain ourselves to the memorial.

‘We are not going to let it happen.

‘Havant has so much character and it should not be destroyed.’

Council leaders have stressed no decisions have been taken and the consultation was about generating ideas for the revamp of Havant town centre.

At the time of the consultation, they said the war memorial could be moved to create a larger area for Remembrance services.

Currently, the crossroads have to be closed when there is a service.

Meanwhile, local historians are in the process of trying to get the war memorial listed to prevent it ever being moved.