This will give better views of events such as the Armistice Service and the Christmas Carol Service, while the hedge at the western end will be kept at its present height to retain the atmosphere of the memorial itself as a tranquil place to pause and remember The Fallen.
The decision follows meetings Stubbington Lib Dem Councillor Jim Forrest and UKIP Councillor Carolyn Heneghan held with Fareham Council’s senior Streetscene officers.
The head of the Grounds team then attended a meeting of the Love Stubbington group to assess whether there was broad support for a lowering of the hedge. At that meeting it was supported by traders, church and community representatives and all local councillors.
The Liberal Democrat team had in the meantime sent a survey to all 6,000 homes in Stubbington and Hill Head seeking more detail of residents’ wishes.
These are the results (not expressed as percentages, as some people ticked more than one of the multiple choice boxes).
Should Stubbington War memorial be:
A place for quiet contemplation 35
A visible symbol of remembrance 68
Should the hedge be:
Kept at about head height 33
Pruned to waist height 52
Replaced with slower growing plants 13
Cleared for a few feet either side of the main entrances 36
Replaced with a chain fence 30
Would you favour crowd-funding to enable replacement:
Jim Forrest says: “The Grounds team have come up with a thoughtful solution which should give a good balance between the varying wishes of local people.
“The hedge will look stark for some months, which is unavoidable after pruning strong, mature laurel bushes, but the end result will enhance the village. I’m grateful for the time and understanding officers have given to this much-loved local landmark.”