Grantham Journal columnist: Jacob Stuart says town should play up to Iron Lady connection

Columnist: Jacob Stuart
Columnist: Jacob Stuart

The Thatcher statue debate rolls on as the Grantham Community Heritage Association has launched three design ideas for the potential sculpture.

The idea is that whether or not your political views line up with her actions, Grantham itself can and should benefit from our connection to the first female Prime Minister.

It is important to note however that this is as much a distant idea as ever before. The three designs are “about giving the people a visual” and would still need planning permission from South Kesteven District Council before being given the go ahead.

On top of that, the GCHA is aiming to raise £200,000 through donations in order to fund the creation and erection of the statue. The debate is still looking to go on for a while.

Embracing the history of Grantham is definitely something that should be encouraged. We all had the opportunity to explore some of this extensive history with Gravity Fields and personally I felt shocked that more had not been done sooner to show it off to the world.

To do so with a contentious figure such as Margaret Thatcher certainly comes with risks. It is a shame that vandalism is all but inevitable but political actions and opinions, particularly hers, are touchy subjects.

While I am not necessarily a fan of the designs created so far, I have come around to the idea of offering up more to Thatcher tourists than the slim pickings we currently have.

Worldwide the Iron Lady is seen as an important, brilliant figure and Grantham should play up our connection to her.

Whether Thatcher lounging back in a chair is the answer remains to be seen.