RESIDENTS are being asked to vote the fate of Crewe's war memorial.
Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council's Tory-led administration has decided to stage a major consultation on the issue which has plagued the authority for more than a year.
At a board meeting on Monday councillors took the decision to halt all further work on Municipal Square.
Instead people will be offered the chance to vote on a home for the 80 year-old monument.
It means Britannia may not be returned to the town centre by Remembrance Day although her restoration work is nearly complete.
Borough council leader Brian Silvester said: 'We have instructed officers not to put any part of the war memorial on to Municipal Square. We do not want to prejudice any consultation.
'We are meeting on Monday to decide what form the consultation will take. It could be a referendum or we could ask people to respond to an article in the council's News and Views publication.
'We are sticking to our election promise of asking what they want.'
Council leaders are also looking at the option of consulting with the Citizen's Panel, made up a cross section of 1,400 people from across the borough.
But Frank Jones, 70, leader of the Memorial Action Team which campaigned to keep the monument on Market Square, said people were 'sick and tired' of referendums.
He said: 'As a group we obtained over 10,000 signatures from people who wanted to keep the memorial on the town square. People don't need to be asked again.
'Let's just have the memorial back in the square and be done with it.'
Labour councillors have been quick to slam the decision as a waste of public money.
Cllr Steve Hogben, Labour group leader, said: 'If the memorial is eventually brought back to Memorial Square, it will cost a further £35,000 -£40,000.
'On the other hand, if a decision is made to return it to Market Square, it will cost between £100,000 and £105,000.'
'As a result of this headstrong move by the new administration, it is estimated the total extra cost to the public will be at least £100,000.'
He accused MAT of 'being stuck in the past' saying: 'We need to keep in touch with the needs and expectations of the 21st century. We can't stand by and let them ruin the scheme for everyone else.'