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Grantham should vote on statue says ex-mayor

Former Grantham mayor Ian Selby has again demanded a public referendum over the Margaret Thatcher statue.

Coun Selby followed up his calls on social media when plans for the statue were announced for Grantham, with a similar plea before a full meeting of district councillors.

He said: “Because Mrs Thatcher was such a divisive figure, a local referendum should be held. To install a statue without a vote would be dictatorial.”

Coun Selby then asked SKDC leader Matthew Lee if there should be a ‘proper debate’ and local referendum at the same time as the local elections next May.

Coun Lee replied it was an amazing opportunity to bring the statue of Margaret Thatcher to Grantham, whether or not you agreed with her or her legacy.

He said: “Undoubtedly, she was an enormous international stateswoman, the longest serving PM of the 20th century, the first woman prime minister, the first scientist prime minister.

“This from a daughter of this town. I think it’s strange we don’t have a statue already. We have Newton. I welcome any debate. I don’t agree with everything Mrs Thatcher did. I don’t remember the first part of what she did. I do think we should recognise the legacy and debate.

“For me, what is growing about Grantham, what its USP (unique selling point) is, is the link to science. Not only in Mrs Thatcher’s case in linking science to politics. Whether we like it or not, it’s only right to have a statue here.

“We have committed not to spend any public money. I
will not consider spending any public money on a referendum but I welcome the debate.”

To laughter, Coun Judy Stevens said: “History has taught us to be judicious in the use of referenda for anything.”

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