VIDEO: Award for memorial group

A war memorial shrouded in years of controversy has picked up a community award.

Featherstone District War Memorial Group snapped up the ‘Best Neighbourhood’ award at Wakefield and District Housing’s (WDH) Love Where You Live Awards grand final last week.

The group was praised for its dedication to the project and maintaining the garden since it opened in 2008.

Gordon Barker, secretary of the group, said: “The group is thrilled and delighted to have won the WDH Best Neighbourhood Award and would like to thank all those who have supported us over the last five years and all those who voted for us.”

The group, which holds gardening sessions every Friday morning, claimed the prize after picking up two awards at the regional heat in September.

Kevin Dodd, WDH chief executive, said: “There is a great deal of hard work going on across the district to make our communities better places to live.”

The war memorial group came under the spotlight earlier this year when ex-district and town councillor Roy Bickerton admitted falsifying invoices relating to the project while he was treasurer of the group.

The former town mayor walked free from court after pleading guilty to one charge of false accounting.

He was handed a 12-month conditional discharge for fabricating invoices totalling £5,700 to the Big Lottery Fund, which had helped fund the scheme.

The irregularity was put down to an ‘accounting muddle.’