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  1. ITV Report

Could one of England's finest market squares lose its iconic cobbles in a bid to save money?

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Dan Rivers

One of England's finest market squares could be about to lose its iconic cobbles as the local council looks to remove them in a bid to save money.

Stamford, which is England's oldest conservation towns, is embroiled in a debate about its cobbles, with some hoping they remain and some hope they leave - a little like another debate raging on in the UK.

The town council wants to remove the cobbles on Red Lion Square and replace them with tarmac in order to save money on maintenance and repairs - to the horror of some locals.

Maintaining the cobbles is costing the local council a lot of cash. Credit: ITV News

"It would be wholly inappropriate, that's not just my opinion, that's the opinion of many heritage organisations," said Matthew Lee of the Civic Society.

He added: "We do want something that is appropriate and safe but in my opinion I just don't see that tarmac does it...

"From all over you're looking up at this square and actually I think that tarmac would dominate it."

Matthew Lee of the Civic Society believes the cobbles should stay. Credit: ITV News

Despite a love for the cobbles among many local residents, they were only put down in the square fourteen years ago - the original cobbles live on a side street elsewhere in the town.

"It's fake, it's a pastiche of a medieval square," said local shop owner John Dawson.

Local shop owner John Dawson wants the cobbles removing. Credit: ITV News

He added: "They're not part of Stamford, they were never here, so why have we put them here?

"We've put them here because we think we're sitting in piazza in Venice or somewhere and it's lovely and sunny whilst we're standing here freezing to death."