Worthing Borough Council defend decision to not light beacon for 80th anniversary of D-Day

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Worthing Borough Council have defended its decision to not light the beacon for the 80th anniversary of D-Day.

A council spokesperson confirmed there was no official lighting ceremony in Worthing or Lancing to mark the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings due to costs and the bell ringing event reaching more people.

The spokesperson said: “June 6th marked the 80th anniversary of the D-Day landings, with events taking place across the country to honour the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought for our freedom.

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“In Worthing we chose not to light the beacon on the seafront this year, and instead organised a coordinated bell-ringing event with local churches.

Worthing Borough Council have defended its decision to not light the beacon for the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Picture: Google MapsWorthing Borough Council have defended its decision to not light the beacon for the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Picture: Google Maps
Worthing Borough Council have defended its decision to not light the beacon for the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Picture: Google Maps

“At 6.30pm bells rang out at Worthing Town Hall as well as at St Andrew's in Tarring, St Botolph's in Heene, St Mary's in Broadwater, St Mary's in Goring and All Saints in Findon Valley.

“We took the decision not to light the beacon because we believed we could reach more people through the bell-ringing rather than at one centralised event and the Veterans Association had organised services outside of the town hall.

“At a time when local authorities around the country are facing tight budgets and forced to make tough spending choices, the estimated cost of £3,000 to light the beacon was also a factor.”

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The council then thanked all who attended and vowed to ‘work better with communities’ in the future.

The spokesperson added: “We are grateful to everyone who has taken the time to provide feedback on our decision and we do recognise that many of you were disappointed that the beacon was not lit.

"In future we will ensure that we work better with our communities to understand how you would like big occasions like the D-Day anniversary to be marked and will find ways to try to make it happen.”

The decision to not light the beacon has been met with anger from the local community.

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Posting on Facebook in response to the council, Andrea Phillips said:

“At the very least this shameful decision should have been well communicated beforehand so as to avoid all the disappointment for the people who, understandably, expected the beacon to be lit.

Considering our location, one would have thought Worthing would have had greater focus than other parts of the country, not less.”

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