A STONE Cross built by a village community to mark the millennium was removed because it was not English enough.
The 15ft Celtic Cross had stood in Waverton since 2000 but was switched by Crocky Trail owner Ed Whalley for an English design, behind villagers’ backs.
Residents spent months raising thousands to put the cross in place.
Paula D’Arcy, of Guy Lane, Waverton, said: “It is an insult to those who raised the money and worked very hard on it.
“He has ran rough shod over the entire village and not taken in to account their thoughts or consideration at all.
“At a parish council meeting Ed Whalley said he didn’t like the millennium Cross. It was a Celtic design and he wanted an English one and offered to have it removed. The parish council wanted to take a vote on it but about a week ago he commissioned stone masons to remove the Celtic Cross and put his English one there. He has just ignored the parish council and done what he wants.”
The Waverton community have started a petition to return the original cross.
Mr Whalley, who’s company Crocky Trail is on trial at Chester Crown Court for allegedly breaching health and safety notices, said: “I was a member of the original Millennium committee and I was never happy with the result and that an English village Cross had not been considered. Several times I have been to the parish council to raise the possibility of the Celtic Cross being changed. I have nothing against the Irish but we do live in England and we should be proud of it. The parish council were neither in favour nor against my proposal, even though they knew the replacement was likely to happen. If the village in general doesn’t like the design of the new cross it would not be a problem to replace it with the old Celtic Cross.”
Waverton parish council clerk Jill Windsor said: “I have spoken to the Chairman of the Parish Council and at the present time the Parish Council do not wish to make any comment on the matter.”