The president of the local Royal British Legion has called Ceredigion County Council a ‘disgrace’ after it said it would cost too much to light up the town’s war memorial in the run-up to Remembrance Sunday.
In previous years, the war memorial at Castle Point, which recently marked its centenary, has been illuminated in red as a tribute to those who gave their lives.
A request was made by Patrick Norrington-Davies, president of the Aberystwyth branch of the Royal British Legion, to light the memorial in red this year.
However, a reply from the county council said a considerable amount of work would need to be done to repair the lighting system around the castle and at present there is ‘no available funding for this’.
In reply, Mr Norrington-Davies said: “I have to say l am very disappointed with your response and the lack of respect being shown to the 111 men of WWI and the 78 men and women of WWII and countless others who have been killed, maimed and injured in conflicts since 1945.
“In 1920 the generous people of Aberystwyth donated £7,200, more than £330,000 in today’s money, and in 1923 the war memorial was unveiled to thousands of people, with school children given the day off school to attend.
“A hundred years later Ceredigion County Council can find many hundreds of thousands of pounds to construct cycle paths and footpaths leading to nowhere but can't find any money to respect the fallen, who sacrificed their lives so that we could enjoy our freedom and democracy.
“In my humble opinion, Ceredigion County Council, that is a disgrace.”
Ceredigion council said in response it is ‘committed to supporting all local events by illuminating key buildings’, adding: “Regrettably, we have recently encountered some issues with the lighting system around the war memorial which requires significant investment and upgrades.
“This will be undertaken by a suitably qualified company as soon as possible so that future events will once again benefit from the ability of the council to recognise those who sacrificed everything for their country.
“In the meantime, we will continue to light Canolfan Alun R Edwards and the bandstand in Aberystwyth for the launch of the Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal and Remembrance Day.”
Armed Forces Champion for Ceredigion, Cllr Paul Hinge, added: "Unfortunately, we will not be able to illuminate the memorial this year, but we hope this we will in future years.
"Other civic buildings will be illuminated in red to mark the occasion."