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Ascot war horse on agenda for Royal Borough meeting

A bronze war horse statue, a petition against proposals for 350 new homes in Ascot and a pay rise for the managing director will be discussed at a Royal Borough council meeting tonight (Thursday).

The council is recommended to approve appointing Alison Alexander as its permanent managing director and head of paid service.

An employment panel meeting on March 14 approved a new senior leadership structure for the council starting next month.

They agreed a £137k salary for Alison Alexander. In her current role as managing director and strategic director for adult, children and health services she receives £125k as well as a £15k allowance, and any fees of up to £5k if she takes on any returning officer responsibilities at elections.

Councillors will also make a decision on a one-and-a-half times life-size statue of a horse which would sit on a two-metre high plinth on the London Road side of the roundabout opposite Heatherwood Hospital in Ascot.

The team behind the War Horse Memorial Project chose the town because of its ‘strong association’ with horses to commemorate the eight million that died during the First World War.

It is recommended for approval with a number of conditions including that if within five years of approval any trees or shrubs are removed they must be replaced with one of the same species and size. If approved by the borough, the project, expected to cost about £400,000, will be funded privately.

A petition which gathered nearly 1,300 signatures objecting to draft proposals for Ascot High Street, including 350 new homes, is due to be debated by councillors.

The scheme includes making Ascot High Street two-sided, with the development of new shops, homes and community facilities on either side of the street, as well as building 350 homes on land in walking distance of it.

Patrick Griffin, chairman of the Society of the Protection of Ascot and Environs (SPAE) said: “SPAE is opposed to this scale of development, which we believe is unsustainable, and the loss of greenbelt and the

protection it provides in preserving the setting and special character of Ascot.”

The meeting will take place at Windsor Guildhall at 7pm.

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