FOLLOWING backlash from Conservatives and Labour councillors alike, the Independents on a west Cumbrian town council have clarified that the Duffield Beacon is unlikely to be changed.

The Independents on Workington Town Council were subject to criticism in recent weeks for launching a proposal to amend the Duffield Beacon, a gift to the town marking its history in steel, or move it to a new location.

Workington MP Mark Jenkinson told Jacob Rees-Mogg in the House of Commons that residents were being given a “Hobson’s Choice” between the beacon being cut short or never being lit again. He later criticised councillors for submitting a planning application to amend the historic statue whilst a consultation is ongoing.

However, leader of the Independents Paul Scott has clarified that the application made to Allerdale council was done in error. When asked whether the Duffield Beacon is still likely to change he said “probably not.”

“It depends what the implications are of lighting the beacon, we know that the bank holiday dates have all been changed for the Queen’s Jubilee. We’d like to celebrate it in style and light it.”

He said that rather than an issue for debate on the council, whether or not the Duffield Beacon will be lit is an issue for the town council’s responsible officer.

A spokesperson for the town council said: “It was supposed to be moved but because of the consultation going and because there’s such strong will against it, nobody wants to upset the town, we’ve withdrawn that.”

Meetings will take place with Environmental Health, the Environment Agency and Cumbria Fire and Rescue service. The town council spokesperson said: “If they say it could be lit then we’ll look at doing something with it.”

Otherwise, they will consider other options such as a pyre on the shore like the event organised in 1993.

Mr Jenkinson has said that the health and safety concerns are unfounded and that a change to the beacon would be “devastating”.

“I would welcome a U-turn I really would," he said.