Remembrance events in Leighton Buzzard and Linslade can be watched online annually going forward
Hundreds of Leighton Buzzard and Linslade residents will be able to watch Remembrance Sunday ceremonies at their local war memorials online, even after the pandemic is over.
Leighton-Linslade Town Council’s Policy and Finance Committee has agreed that broadcasts, either live or recorded, would be funded to the tune of £3,500 in 2021-2022, following the success of this intiative in 2020 which had an allocated budget of £2,500.
Cllr Stephen Jones, chair of the policy and finance committee, said: “We took over the running of these events from the Royal British Legion and last year’s live streaming was very well received by residents.
“It’s good for the community who can’t attend in person that they can still be part of the service from their homes.”
As a result of the pandemic in 2020 ruining prepartaions to stage Remembrance Sunday in its usual format in both towns, socially distanced, short services with restricted attendance numbers took place at the Leighton Buzzard and Linslade war memorials.
To allow residents to watch the services despite not being able to attend in person, it was decided to publish a live-stream from Church Square to the council’s Facebook page. This was made possible by accessing the internet connection of a local organisation and also utilising recordings provided by All Saints Church.
The service from the Linslade Garden of Remembrance was recorded by mobile phone but could not be live-streamed due to a lack of internet connection. The recordings of both services were made available on the internet later that day and continue to be available to view on the council’s YouTube channel.
All Saints Church and St Barnabas Church received donations from the town council for their live stream services, but in order to undertake future live-streaming (or recording with later broadcasting) of events from the war memorials, the use of specialist suppliers need to be costed in, as well as the ability to access internet connections.
At the same meeting, the Policy and Finance Committee endorsed the one-off cost of £7,000 to be met from the Future Projects earmarked reserve for cleaning of the war memorials and the steps of the highly protected Market Cross, and from the 2022-2023 budget, an annual allocation of £3,500 was included for memorial cleaning (to be kept in an earmarked reserve until cleaning required, usually every second year).
Cllr Jones said: “The town council has arranged for specialist cleaning of the war memorials when required, funded on an ad-hoc basis from reserves.
“Both the Leighton Buzzard and Linslade war memorials are Listed and have stones that need to be delicately treated not just blasted with a jet wash.”