THERE have been renewed pleas to clean up an historic statue in the heart of Hexham.

Confusion reigned over who owned Benson’s Monument, erected in 1904 at the entrance of Beaumont Street in tribute to Lt Col. George Elliott Benson, but there have been calls to spruce it up after it was revealed it was Northumberland County Council’s responsibility.

Derek Kennedy, county councillor for Hexham West, said: “It is an important monument for Hexham and it has been situated in this prominent site for 115 years, and it is in need of a clean-up if it’s going to last another 100. We need the county council to give it the cleaning it deserves.”