THE deputy leader of BCP Council has said the statue of Robert Baden-Powell will be placed under “24 hour security” until it is temporarily removed or the “threat” towards it diminishes.
However, Cllr Mark Howell said this morning that it would not be removed today, as initially stated, with contractors saying they would not carry out the removal with people around the statue, which has been the case throughout the day.
The Poole Town ward councillor and deputy leader of BCP Council has now said the temporary removal will not be carried out today due to the depth of the foundations.
BCP Council’s statement on Wednesday said this plan has been brought to “minimise the risk of any public disorder or antisocial behaviour that could arise”.
This action came after the statue was listed alongside dozens of other sites in the UK by campaigners who want commemorations of those involved with the slave trade or known to be racist to be removed.
In a statement released this afternoon, Cllr Howell said: “Our decision yesterday evening to temporarily remove the statue of Lord Baden-Powell from Poole Quay was taken following the listing of the statue on a website detailing potential targets for protesters. This listing placed the much-loved statue at risk of damage or even destruction. We made the decision quickly in order to protect it.
“We know that local people feel proud of Lord Baden-Powell’s and the Scout movement’s links with Poole, and that some people feel that we would be giving in to the protesters by temporarily removing the statue. However, we feel it is responsible to protect it for future generations to enjoy and respect.
“We will not be removing the statue today as the foundations are deeper than originally envisaged and we need further discussions with contractors on the best way to remove it safely. Although we cannot say when any temporary removal may take place, we will be providing 24-hour security until it is either removed or the threat diminishes.
“Should the statue be removed temporarily, barring unforeseen circumstances, we will return it to the Quay as soon as the threat level subsides.”
Source – Bournemouth Echo