Knockagh Monument upkeep funds have now been paid by partner councils
Partner councils have coughed up towards maintenance of the County Antrim War Memorial in Greenisland, a report to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council has stated.
Antrim and Newtownabbey, Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Councils and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council were asked by Mid and East Antrim to pay towards the maintenance of the Knockagh Monument.
They have now paid £1,000 for each year from 2015-2019 with an increase to £2,000 from 2020 onwards.
The Royal British Legion is also represented.
Councillor John Palmer, Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, asked at last month’s Knockagh Monument Joint Committee meeting if the funds had now been paid by each member council.
He was advised that the agreed sum had been received.
Members were also told that invoices will “continue to be issued by Mid and East Antrim Borough Council in a timely manner”.
Previously, the committee was told that Mid and East Antrim had not sought payments since the amalgamation of local authorities in 2015 although member councils were said to have been willing to contribute.
It is understood that it had been expected that Belfast City Council would have also participated.
In response to a request by Cllr Palmer, it was agreed that a financial breakdown of the budget will be provided to members to give further details of spend.
A recommendation to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council’s Corporate Services Committee by one of its officers was that the financial contributions should be made “on proof of appropriate receipts of expenditure”.
Mid and East Antrim councillors have been told already that financial contributions by partner councils will “assist significantly in both the maintenance costs of the monument and its surrounds as well as towards the cost of the annual commemoration ceremony and reception”.
The council has enquired about the cost of purchasing a field for carparking but councillors were told that the landowner did not wish to sell and land had been rented for use of carpark facilities.
Committee Chair Knockagh Cllr Peter Johnston asked for a detailed update in relation to carpark provision and LED lighting of the monument.
It was agreed that a further update would be provided with regard to “issues surrounding the provision of LED lighting of the monument as well as the possible use of solar powered/battery back-up CCTV in terms of security”.
Mid and East Antrim councillors were told last year that although lighting infrastructure had been installed, the council could not afford to power the lights.
Cllr Robert Foster, Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council, requested that an attendant be present at the bottom of Knockagh Road at future events to alleviate traffic congestion.
Preparations are under way for the annual Somme commemoration on Sunday, June 27, which is expected to be able to proceed this year due to an easing of Covid restrictions.
Michelle Weir, Local Democracy Reporter
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