THE War Memorial Trust has advised Ledbury Town Council to get in touch with a structural engineer to see what can be done about the town’s damaged war memorial.

The first engineering company arrives next week to have a look at the damage and provide a quote.

Interim town clerk, Mel ab Owain said: “It has always been acknowledged that the main problem is the base. It's elsewhere on the monument that there is more minor damage.”

He said a second engineer will also visit in the next few weeks.

A recent council meeting heard that, contrary to recent statements, damage to the stones at the base of the memorial is not considered to be “cosmetic.” Instead, recent cleaning work had “exposed problems.”

Damage to the base is so extensive, stones have cracked and the war memorial gives the impression of sinking into the pavement.

Local supermarkets, including Tesco and Co-op, will be contacted to see if community funding might be available to help pay for repairs.

However, Mr ab Owain has warned that repairs are not going to be “a quick fix.”

The work would be done “correctly and in time for the centenary of the dedication, in December 2020.”

The chairman of the town’s environment and leisure committee, Cllr Jane Hopkins said the reason for engaging a structural engineer was “to get it right.”

Full costings have yet to be announced but an earlier town council and War Memorial Working Party proposal for a repair plan put the figure at around £20,000.

In 2018, the town council voted to spend £5,500 on groundworks to address the issues of water pooling around the base of the memorial, but that work did not take place.

The town council has been criticised for not carrying out repairs in time for the centenary anniversary of the end of the First World War, last November.

Town council chairman, Cllr Nina Shields pointed out last autumn that the town council had been discussing war memorial repairs for the past six years.

And Cllr Keith Francis said the monument was suffering from more than water drainage problems.

He said: “The shaft going up to the flame is quite severely damaged. There is a lot of it that needs attention.”

There is also a slight lean to the monument.