11:59am Friday 18th October 2013 in Letters
THE CHIEF executive’s “apology “ regarding demolition of the Chartist mural should not be allowed to pass without some comment.
Firstly, he is apologising only to councillors and he is apologising only for not giving advance warning. Were the councillors aware the mural was to be demolished without any attempt at relocation? This is hard to believe since the decision did not appear to be in the public domain.
It would seem that the Cllr Bright was aware of the demise of the mural. Are his political instincts so out of tune with the residents of Newport that he did not see the wisdom of seeking public consultation before ruling out any form of relocation?
Mr Godfrey’s reasons for the actions taken are not very convincing. Dealing with the mural under the main contract could have been done through a variation order at negligible cost. The mural was not “directly attached” to the car park structure. If it was it could not have been separately demolished. This also proves that it could have been economically removed in large pieces for storage and re-assembly elsewhere.
It is misleading to use CADW as a scapegoat for the decision to demolish. No one is suggesting this is an ancient monument but it does represent a well-loved symbol of an important period in the history of Newport. We may be open for business but there is still room for sentiment At the very least the people of Newport are entitled to an unreserved apology from the leader of their elected representatives. The remains (in whatever state they may be) should be restored and relocated without delay.
Tony Haycock Langstone Newport
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