The new art sculpture on Hay Hill has caused a bit of a stir. A lot of time and money has been put into this and a lot of lives and livelihoods are going to be impacted. We are asking questions about the cost of this change and, in particular, what consultation the City Council has done.
It strikes us that a change this important requires consensus - or at the very least compromise - amongst all those who are going to be affected.
The council have a lot of difficult questions to answer and we look forward to them giving clear, honest answers.
Because I want the Conservatives to be the honest party in Norwich, I am printing my letter to the Chief Executive below, in full:
Following speculation in the local press about an installation of art work on Hay Hill a number of issues have arisen which the Conservative Group on the Council find quite concerning. The way in which this issue seems to have been handled leaves a lot to be desired and I am writing to get some clarification on a number of key points.
How much public money has been spent – or is planned to be spent – on the piece of modern artwork planned for Hay Hill? From which department will this money come and is any match-funding involved?
Have council officers seen this piece of art or at any time visited the artists, who I understand are French, either at home or abroad?
If so, when and where did the meeting take place, how much did it cost and who paid for it? Who were the officers involved and how did they feedback their views to elected members?
Is the piece of artwork finished? If so, where is it being kept and what are the costs of storage?
Can you describe to us what the artwork looks like and tell us what it is called and what it represents? Can a picture of how it will look when it is completed be shared with the people of Norwich?
What consultation has taken place with affected stakeholders and residents and what feedback was received?
Will the artwork be safe and secure and how confident is the City Council that it will prove popular with local people?
The art sculpture is a major investment in the main shopping thoroughfare in the City and will impact greatly on a large number of people. We believe that such an investment requires a great deal of consultation with stakeholder groups and a consensus – or at least compromise – should be agreed before financial commitments are made. I would be grateful for answers to these questions as soon as possible.
Cllr Antony LittleLeader, Conservative Group