Beds, Herts & Bucks

Paralympic flame plan at Stoke Mandeville agreed

Cauldron is lit in Stoke Mandeville for the Paralympics
Image caption A cauldron was lit in Stoke Mandeville to mark the start of the London 2012 Paralympic torch relay

Buckinghamshire councillors have "unanimously agreed" a proposal to always light the torch at Stoke Mandeville for Paralympic Games.

The council will now urge the government to ask the International Paralympic Committee to agree.

It wants the Paralympic flame lit at the home of the Games every time the event is staged.

Council chair Marion Clayton said: "It is the birthplace of the Games and should be recognised as such."

She added: "It was good to see such cross-party enthusiasm for it."

'Recognised internationally'

The Paralympic Games - named as the parallel event to the Olympics - originated as a result of an archery competition organised by Dr Ludwig Guttmann for his spinal cord injury patients on the grass outside Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

He had opened the National Spinal Injuries Centre there in 1944 and introduced sport into his patient rehabilitation programme.

The doctor held the first Paralympic sports event in 1948 on the opening day of the London Games and developed Stoke Mandeville Stadium, the National Centre for Disability Sport, alongside the hospital.

Before the debate on the joint-party motion on Wednesday, Ms Clayton said that the hospital and stadium should be commemorated, just as Athens is for the Olympics.

"I think that Stoke Mandeville is now increasingly recognised internationally as the birthplace of the Paralympics and I do think that is something we should promote," she said.

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