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Decision to set aside £100,000 for ceremony to unveil Margaret Thatcher statue will be reviewed

South Kesteven District councillors will have to reconsider their plan to underwrite a £100k launch event for a 10ft statue of former PM Margaret Thatcher in the centre of Grantham.

Independent Councillor Ashley Baxter requested the call-in for the scrutiny committee, which could reverse the controversial decision by the Conservative leadership.

Coun Baxter said: “The decision has been taken entirely by local members of the Conservative party without even a proper opportunity for discussion, let alone a vote.”

The statue was going to be in London - but will now stand in Grantham(43324824)
The statue was going to be in London - but will now stand in Grantham(43324824)

“There is no clear outline business plan explaining how third-party funding will be acquired, let alone why the council has somehow taken on responsibility for the fundraising.”

Cllr Baxter is concerned the council would have to also cover the cost of maintaining the statue, as well as the crime and disorder threat to the monument.

At the start of December, council leaders agreed to set aside the £100k to unveil in Grantham town centre the controversial statue of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. But the council hoped to raise the money for the event, and then fill any gaps.

The bronze statue was acquired for £300,000, mainly through public fundraising, private donations and supporters of Grantham Museum. It’s currently stored at “a secret location”.

The council agreed to put it on a 10ft-high plinth to prevent vandalism, making the entire structure more than 20ft overall.

People took to social media to voice their opinions, with over 14,000 on Facebook registering their interest in attending an egg-throwing contest once the statue was unveiled.

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