IMPROVEMENTS around Yarm’s Town Hall and war memorial have been completed in time for the town’s First World War centenary commemorations.

Stockton Borough Council has invested £500,000 to improve the High Street ahead of the Yarm 1914 events on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (August 2, 3 and 4).

The improvements include:

• Paving the area around the town hall with Yorkshire Stone to make it easier for people to access the hall, disabled toilet and war memorial

• Upgrading the Pelican crossings to Puffin crossings with sensors

• Introducing new lighting to illuminate the town hall at night and heritage style street lighting throughout the High Street

• Enhancing CCTV coverage

The most controversial change was replacing the cobbles around the town hall. Members of Yarm Chamber of Trade and Yarm Residents Association argued the cobbles were historic and added to the uniqueness of the town. However, Stockton council countered that it had to be made easier to use the disabled toilet.

Chairman of Yarm Town Council, Councillor Peter Monck, said: "The investment has improved the aesthetic of the High Street as well as making access around the town hall area much more user friendly. ”

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