Hatfield residents frustrated with borough council’s Remembrance efforts

PUBLISHED: 15:52 09 November 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 09 November 2018

Hatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

Hatfield Market Square, Hatfield Town Centre. Picture: DANNY LOO

©2018 Danny Loo Photography - all rights reserved

Hatfield residents have vented their frustrations after the borough council decorated the Welwyn Garden City fountain with poppies to mark the centenary of the end of World War One.

After Welwyn Hatfield Council announced that it had decorated the coronation fountain in Welwyn Garden City with poppies to honour the fallen it sparked backlash from Hatfield residents.

Neil Carroll, who owns many businesses in Hatfield including the Town Inn and the Premier shop in the garden village, said many of his customers share his frustrations.

He said: “Why have the borough council not done anything to mark remembrance day in Hatfield Town Centre?

“Surely a few lampposts or a flower bed could have been decorated?

“People of Hatfield have family that died in the war and our town was around in World War One, Welwyn Garden City wasn’t.

“I think they should have done something in the town centre like many towns up and down the country have done.”

Hatfield Town Council leader and Labour councillor Lenny Brandon said it “highlights that Hatfield is the forgotten town”.

Insisting his opinions are personal as a Hatfield resident and not political, he said: “For an anniversary of such magnitude, WHBC have done nothing in Hatfield Town Centre to recognise the sacrifices made by so many of our townsfolk.

“This anniversary was a hundred years in the making, and in Hatfield WHBC have ignored the fact.

“The remembrance of the fallen is above political wrangling, but I personally believe this is symbolic of the wider treatment Hatfield receives from the borough council.”

He added: “I have agreed with the borough council that moving forward there will be better communication in future. But that will not help the cause this year, respect was due.”

A spokeswoman for Welwyn Hatfield Council said: “Hatfield Town Council has successfully organised remembrance services for people in Hatfield for many years.

“We have always offered our support to them and it’s a shame to hear some of these comments being made.

“However, what really matters is that people have an opportunity to participate in local acts of remembrance.

“That’s why we are pleased to see a wide range of services and tributes taking place throughout the day, all over the borough, in recognition of 100 years since The Armistice.

“It is set to be a very special occasion, and we’d like to thank the wide range of organisations that have played a part – councils, charities and the faith and business communities – who have all contributed to making sure everyone, regardless of where they live in Welwyn Hatfield, can remember servicemen and women who lost their lives in two world wars and subsequent conflicts.

“We look forward to joining all our communities as they unite in remembrance.”

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