Row over request for town memorial

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A ROW has erupted over a request for a permanent tribute to former Holbeach parish councillor and businessman John King.

Ideas such as a plaque in Carter’s Park to commemorate Mr King, who died in October 2010, were put to the parish council by Holbeach resident Carol Rudkin at a meeting last month.

Mrs Rudkin (65), of Stukeley Gardens, also wrote to the council suggesting that something should be done in Mr King’s memory.

But at a meeting on Monday, councillors voted not to go ahead as it would “set a precedent” for others in the future.

Mrs Rudkin said: “John King was a great man in Holbeach and I personally think he should be remembered for what he did for the town.

“He sat on the council for more than 20 years and did a lot of work behind the scenes that he never wanted people to know about.

“Whatever he could do to help people, he would and I think something should be done for him.”

Mr King was one of the founders of South Holland Boxing Academy in Holbeach, a strong supporter of the town’s football club for more than 25 years and set up a number of housing development companies.

He also served on Fleet Parish Council and gave support to the local farming community.

Mrs Rudkin said: “Other people have been remembered by the council and I’d like to suggest that it should do exactly the same thing in John’s memory.”

Parish councillor Isobel Hutchinson told the meeting that it was up to individuals to organise a memorial for Mr King as it was unfair for the council to single out a particular person.

She said: “Mrs Rudkin felt it was appropriate for the council to put up some sort of commemoration for John King but I felt it wasn’t right to just commemorate one person when there were others who had done a lot in the past.

“At the end of the day, it’s Mrs Rudkin’s opinion that he should be commemorated and if she or others feel that way, they can do something for themselves.”

Parish council chairman Peter Savory said: “At the moment, we’re not planning anything to remember John King because it sets a precedent.

“But if somebody wanted permission to put a memorial to him in Carter’s Park, then I would imagine that the council would look favourably on it.”