COUNCIL chiefs have done a u-turn over charging £600 for an historic blue plaque in the centre of Worcester - and have now agreed to do the job for free.

Worcester Civic Society is jumping for joy after the county council revealed a blue commemorative plaque will go up at The Cross for nothing.

It follows a story in your Worcester News last week, in which historians were getting hot under the collar over it.

After our article the council got in touch with the society to offer the olive branch.

The plaque aims to recognise the historic point from which all distances to and from Worcester are measured, partly for tourism leaflets.

Ringway, which does roadworks for the council, has agreed to now absorb the costs into its budget.

Jon Fraser, highways manager at County Hall, said: "I'm really pleased that we are able to help out and get this plaque installed free of charge.

"The initial advice was correct and we always try to schedule work when it is most cost effective.

"However having reconsidered the details, we've taken the decision to go ahead and our contractors Ringway, in celebrating their renewed highways service contract, have since offered to absorb the costs."

The bronze plaque will go up some time over the next few weeks in time for the peak summer season.

Stephen Inman, chairman of city's civic society said: "We are delighted this has been resolved and are grateful the council has acted quickly to put things right and to enable the costs of the scheme to be shared fairly."

The society said it is already prepared to stump up £900 towards the plaque, and installations are typically done for free.

The actual job only involves removing and cutting around four slabs at The Cross to place it on the surfacing.

Sunday, June 1 this year is the 300th anniversary of the Worcester to Droitwich turnpike, the oldest turnpike road in Worcestershire.

The society wants the plaque in place by then because an event is planned to mark the