"What did Maggie ever do for Grantham?"
The controversy over a possible statue of Margaret Thatcher coming to Grantham sparked a lively exchange between a former town mayor and ruling Conservatives.
At a meeting of South Kesteven District Council last week, Ian Selby asked: “Can you name me one thing that Margaret Thatcher did for Grantham that justifies a statue?”
The unaligned Harrowby councillor then said such a statue would ‘desecrate’ the town before adding, “Will the statue be imposed on the town without a referendum?”
Council leader Matthew Lee passed on the question to Grantham St Wulfram’s councillor Ray Wootten, who has long campaigned for a statue in Grantham to Britain’s first woman prime minister.
Coun Wootton said: “I am happy to promote a statue. Not only did she save the country from communism. She also saved the country from the threat of Arthur Scargill.”
His comments attracted some laughter from opposition councillors, but there was no further debate.
Last month, it was announced that talks were underway between South Kesteven District Council, the Grantham Community Heritage Associatuion , which runs Grantham Museum, and the Public Memorials Appeal, which has funded a £300,000 10.5ft bronze statue.
Subject to agreement, SKDC may consider a planning application to erect the statue by the end of the year.