Lottery insults 16,000 Fallen British Soldiers

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    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Lottery accused of insulting 16,000 fallen soldiers after refusing to fund memorial
    By MICHAEL SEAMARK and TIM SHIPMAN

    Last updated at 22:35pm on 1st November 2006

    Reader comments (0)

    Lottery accused of insulting 16,000 fallen soldiers after refusing to fund memorial
    The National Lottery stands accused of shamefully insulting 16,000 British servicemen and women who have died in the line of duty.

    Trustees of a new national memorial to commemorate those killed since the Second World War applied for a £4.4 million grant. But the Big Lottery Fund flatly rejected the request.

    The Fund, under constant fire for funding bizarre and controversial 'good causes,' says the application does not 'fit within the eligibility criteria' and, astonishingly, the amount claimed is too small for their relevant funding programme.

    The Daily Mail is stepping in to launch a campaign to ensure that the monument commemorating members of the Armed Forces who have died on duty during the past 60 years is completed.

    No single memorial exists as a permanent tribute to the men and women killed during wars, training, peacekeeping and terrorist attacks since the end of hostilities in 1945.

    The giant Armed Forces Memorial, will be inscribed with each of the 16,000 names of the dead.

    The Queen is due to officially unveil the huge circular memorial of Portland stone - which will cost £7 million - next October.

    Around £3 million has been raised, with the Treasury providing £1.5 million from proceeds of the coin celebrating the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar and a similar amount coming from donations.

    Now we are asking our readers - as Armistice Day approaches - to help ensure that those who have died are, in the words of Prince Charles, patron of the Armed Forces Memorial since 2003, remembered ' today, tomorrow and forever.'

    Designed by architect Liam O'Connor, the monument is under construction within the 150 acre National Memorial Arboretum near Lichfield, Staffs.

    A huge 140ft diameter circle of stone, 15 ft high, will sit atop a grassy mound next to the River Trent. At the heart of the memorial will be two bronze sculptures by Ian Rank-Broadley.

    At exactly 11am on November 11 - just as the country falls silent - a carefully-placed slit in one wall will allow a beam of sunlight to shine across a central plaque.

    In January the Armed Forces Memorial Trust applied to the Big Lottery Fund for the £4.4 million grant under its 'living landmarks' programme. The sum is equivalent to just £275 for each person that has died serving their country since 1945.

    Project director Lt Colonel Richard Callander said after informal discussions with lottery officials "we were led to believe it was worthwhile trying for a grant."

    They discussed three possible grant programmes, finally deciding to apply under the 'living landmarks' scheme.

    Less than a month later they were informed that their grant application had been rejected - their chosen scheme has a minimum grant of £10 million, over twice what the Trust wanted.

    Lt Col Callander said yesterday: "If we had bid for £10 million we might have been in with a chance.

    "We have a good scheme but neither small enough or large enough to qualify. We just didn't fit conveniently into any project they were running - it's so inflexible."

    The Big Lottery Fund, whose chairman is ex-civil servant and Labour supporter Professor Sir Clive Booth, has an annual budget of £630 million.

    In a statement the Fund said it 'recognises the sacrifice and the contribution made by veterans to the security of this country' and had spent £49 million on various projects under its Veterans Reunited programme to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

    But it continued: "The Armed Forces Memorial Trust application to the Lottery's Living Landmark programme did not fit within the eligibility criteria of this specific programme that will fund major capital projects."

    The Fund say nobody was available to discuss the criteria for the 'Living Landmarks' programme, which in the past has contributed to the construction of the Gateshead Millenium Bridge and the Millenium Coastal Path in Wales.

    The refusal to provide lottery funding incensed former military commanders and senior politicians who branded the decision 'appalling', 'pathetic', 'perverse' and 'mind-boggingly incompetent.'

    Lord Craig of Radley, Chief of the Defence Staff throughout the first Gulf War said he was 'saddened' that lottery funds "so willingly given by today's generation, have not been used to recognise the sacrifice of those who have given their lives so that we might continue to enjoy our own."

    SAS veteran Andy McNab, author of Bravo Two Zero, said: "What the lottery bosses do not seem to understand is that the people who give them money in the first place do support the military.

    "The public has always backed the boys on the ground - the lottery people just don't get it."

    Colonel Bob Stewart, former British commander in Bosnia, said: "People just do not understand what sacrifices have been made by our servicemen and women since the Second World War. This memorial is absolutely essential.

    "The people who provide the money for the lottery are the ordinary working men and women of this country. A project which honours the working men and women in uniform is an entirely appropriate thing for the lottery to fund."

    Liberal Democrat leader Sir Menzies Cambell said: "I am profoundly disappointed that the National Lottery is not funding this project which, when built, will serve as a fitting testament to the courage and bravery of our armed forces and form a future focal point for days of national remembrance."

    Tory leader David Cameron said: "These brave people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country must be remembered properly."

    Labour MP Kevan Jones said: "A single memorial will give recognition to many people who lost their lives in the 60 years who've had no recognition to date - those who have been killed in small incidents in forgotten conflicts.

    "It's appalling that the National Lottery should not be funding this, especially in the light of the ridiculous things they've funded in the past."

    Liberal Democrat MP Mike Hancock, a member of the Commons Defence Committee, said: "This is mindbogglingly incompetent on the part of the lottery. It is typical of them. It is no wonder that people have no confidence in them.

    "This memorial is a first class effort, it is no more than our servicemen and women deserve. It is pathetic that this nation cannot honour them"

    I think most of the comments in the peice say it for me
    DISGUSTING, DISGRACEFUL, WHATS THE POINT?
    They will give Romainian lesbians funding but not soldiers who have made the ultimate sacrifice
    BA$tard$
     
  2. I'm saddened and angry, but to be honest would have been more surprised had the application for funding been successful. I can't begin to fathom what process of thought dictates that something that should be at the core of our national consciousness seems to be so flippantly disregarded. How many of Tony's cronies sit on the board that makes these decisions?
     
  3. This is how the lottery has been going for years, and if you look into what the lottery has funded, and how much of the money goes abroad to fund such things as guinea pig farms in Chile, then you can see why people have stopped supporting it.
     
  4. I am not surprised in this forgetful society we have today, and the PC era forced upon us, the funding required represented the majority, not something lottery likes to give money to?
     
  5. I recall after the pistol/revolver ban the lottery commitee would not fund anything to do with shooting, like Dozybint I too would have been somewhat surprised had they funded the memorial.
     
  6. Yes the lottery is shit but all those lovely people like Prince Charles who are wringing their hands in anguish could have bought the bloody thing and not noticed a blip in their bank accounts.

    The hypocrisy in our country makes me puke.
     
  7. That's very generous of them. :D
    I may even start buying the paper again for that.

    PB
     
  8. I may be mistaken, but I do believe that, after decades of being an outcast in the wilderness, the subject of national defence and those who serve it (ie all those in the military) is becoming 'fashionable' again.

    Okay, the word is not the best, but it does that there is a growing groundswell of opinion recognising both the sacrifice of generations of serviceman past and the sufferings of those presently serving. The Torygraph are running a fairly high profile campaign to improve equipment and conditions and now the Mail are backing this memorial.

    All very commendable. Who knows, if this keeps up, the government (of whatever colour) might be shamed into actually looking after and equipping the military properly for the first time in Lord knows how long!

    Hope springs eternal.
     
  9. I find it more insulting that we have to resort to soliciting lottery money in the first place.

    Has it really come to this?
     
  10. We have the example of the Queens Gates and Diana's foot bath as to what horrors modern design can inflict. I am totally in favour of having such a memorial but this 'setback' may well be a blessing in disguise. Isn't there already an arboritum? What is opinion of the one in NI?
     
  11. Apparently one of the excuses given is that the MINIMUM grant for a 'living memorial' is 10 million and as they were ONLY asking for 4.4 million it fell outside their remit. I suppose it wasn't inclusive enough, despite representing everyone postwar but they had to think of some excuse not to give the money didn't they? :roll:
     
  12. Fukc the lottery - ARRSE can fund it - we can donate if a method is set up - who better to commemorate OUR fallen than us?
     
  13. Lets put in another lottery funding request only stressing that its for ethnic minority Servicemen and Women who were 'press ganged' into service by the vicious white male junta that has done so little for Humanity for the past 300 years.

    I betcha it will go through and the Service people with minority backgrounds will open the memorial to all of their Service Brothers and Sisters.

    Job done allbeit by a roundabout path.
     
  14. Alternatively, the Lottery could stump up the four million pounds and whatever they need to take it up to their "minimum" of 10 million they could donate to service charities or even put in to a fund to ensure the preservation of military memorials in the future...