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South Kesteven District Council will no longer underwrite the £100,000 cost of unveiling of Margaret Thatcher statue

The district council has announced it is no longer underwriting the unveiling of the statue of Margaret Thatcher in Grantham, at a cost of £100,000, and the event will be privately funded.

South Kesteven District Council leader Councillor Kelham Cooke (Con) announced just ahead of this afternoon's full council meeting that the pandemic means the unveiling of the controversial statue on St Peter's Hill has been delayed, allowing time to raise the money needed for the event.

Coun Cooke said: "As (the unveiling) has now been delayed until Covid-19 restrictions have been lifted, we now have the time to fund-raise all of the funds required prior to the event and therefore no longer need to use any allocation of underwriting or forward funding from South Kesteven District Council.

The statue will be on a high plinth to protect it from vandals (43324820)
The statue will be on a high plinth to protect it from vandals (43324820)

"This will mean the whole unveiling event and preparations will be privately funded through donations without the need for any underwriting or forward funding for this event and the funding for this will be removed from the council's budget."

SKDC announced in December that it would be underwriting the unveiling event to the tune of £100,000, although insisted that it would try to make up that sum in private donations.

It's decision to underwrite the event caused controversy and the council was accused of wasting money and was forced to review its decision.

Last week a Granham artist decided to place his own version of the Thatcher statue on the plinth which was positioned in St Peter's Hill last year ready for a 10 foot high bronze statue of the Grantham-born former prime minster to be put there.

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