A petition to save a Stoke-on-Trent World War I memorial from demolition has been delivered to Downing Street.
The document, signed by more than 10,000 people, calls on the government to stop the Ministry of Justice selling off the former Fenton Magistrates’ Court that houses the plaque listing 498 men from the Fenton area.
The BBC quotes campaigner Cheryl Gerrard, who was one of around 40 people who went to Downing Street to deliver the petition.
‘What we fear is that a private commercial developer will buy the building and then demolish parts of it to make it viable – or cut off access,’ she said.
‘We hear a lot from David Cameron about the Big Society, but then you’ve got them refusing to work with us over a project like this.’
Fenton community association has said it would consider running the building to restore its ballroom and open a cafe. Stoke-on-Trent City Council listed the building as an ‘asset of community value’ in August blocking any potential sale until February 2014.
A spokesperson for Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunal Service, part of the MoJ, said it had applied for that decision to be reviewed.
They said: ‘The government has a duty to sell this property in order to provide taxpayers with the best value for money.’
The Magistrates’ Court, built in 1886 as a town hall, closed in December 2012 as part of government plans to shut 93 courts in England and Wales in a bid to save £41m.
For more about the memorial, click here.