COUNCIL chiefs have no plans to permanently move the war memorial on Bridge Foot in the future.

It is set to be temporarily moved while work to strengthen the river bank is completed.

As part of the council’s £1.1 million Cenotaph project, which started on Monday, the monument and its surrounding features will be dismantled and stored away in a secure depot.

The scheme will structurally improve the supporting river bank and the wall situated to the north of the war memorial.

The project will also deliver upgrades to the appearance of the paving around the monument, as well as improving general access.

Council chiefs have previously not ruled out permanently moving the monument in the future.

But leader Cllr Russ Bowden says there are currently no plans to do so.

He added: “We have had these debates before but the executive board agreed that keeping it in its current place is the right thing to do – and that is my view at the moment.

“I accept what people say in relation to the accessibility issue, which is what we want to improve with the current project.

“A significant amount of money is being spent to preserve that asset and improve accessibility.

“If you think in the longer term about the Southern Gateway and what that might do, and in terms of traffic if the Western Link is built, there is no reason why that particular area will not be less congested in the future.

“And maybe in 10 or 20 years we will think that we made the right decision to keep it where it is.”

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission did not wish to comment as it is not responsible for the war memorial on Bridge Foot.