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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Executive held on 02/11/2004
William Cobbett Statue



Summary & Purpose
On 25th May 2004, the Executive agreed to a proposal for a life-size bronze statue of William Cobbett to be sited in Gostrey Meadow, Farnham, subject to the necessary planning consents being granted and any future maintenance costs being funded by the Farnham Public Art Trust.

Since agreeing this recommendation, the sculptor, Sheila Mitchell, has informed the Council that she would like to give the statue of William Cobbett to Waverley Borough Council for the people of Waverley and in doing so provide a commuted sum of money to cover the Council’s future costs of maintenance relating to the statue.

The purpose of this report is to request the Executive to consider whether it wishes to accept the gift and associated commuted sum for the future maintenance liabilities on behalf of the Borough, thereby accepting the transfer of risk for future maintenance.

Quality of Life Implications
Natural Resource Use
Pollution Prevention and Control
Biodiversity and Nature
Local Environment
Social Inclusion
Safe Communities
Local Economy
Natural
Resource Use
Pollution
Prevention and Control
Biodiversity
and Nature
Local
Environment
Social
Inclusion
Safe, Healthy
and Active
Communities
Local
Economy
N/A
N/A
N/A
Positive
N/A
N/A
Positive


APPENDIX N
WAVERLEY BOROUGH COUNCIL

EXECUTIVE – 2ND NOVEMBER 2004

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Title:
WILLIAM COBBETT STATUE

[Wards Affected: All Farnham Wards]
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Summary and purpose:

On 25th May 2004, the Executive agreed to a proposal for a life-size bronze statue of William Cobbett to be sited in Gostrey Meadow, Farnham, subject to the necessary planning consents being granted and any future maintenance costs being funded by the Farnham Public Art Trust.

Since agreeing this recommendation, the sculptor, Sheila Mitchell, has informed the Council that she would like to give the statue of William Cobbett to Waverley Borough Council for the people of Waverley and in doing so provide a commuted sum of money to cover the Council’s future costs of maintenance relating to the statue.

The purpose of this report is to request the Executive to consider whether it wishes to accept the gift and associated commuted sum for the future maintenance liabilities on behalf of the Borough, thereby accepting the transfer of risk for future maintenance.

_________________________________________________________________________

Quality of life implications – social, environmental & economic (sustainable development):

Public Art has an important role in transforming the public realm, and contributing to the quality of life for residents and visitors. A good quality local environment can attract residents and businesses, leading to inward investment.

E-Government implications:

There are no e-government implications arising directly from this report.

Resource and legal implications:

There are resource and legal implications, which are described in the body of the report.

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The Statue

1. The design envisaged is traditional in nature, a life-size statue cast in bronze, to be placed on a plinth, with the statue being lit.

The Location

2. Since Members considered the previous report in May, officers have met with the artist and an exact location has been identified for the statue. The position agreed is the most appropriate given the current programme of activities which takes place within Gostrey Meadow and is marked on the plan at Annexe 1.

Resource and Legal Implications

3. The sculptor has established a new trust to undertake the fundraising to pay for the statue to be commissioned. The Farnham Public Art Trust (FPAT) is providing advice and support to the artist and is submitting the planning application for the statue. The FPAT is an independent trust set up with the purpose of promoting public art in Farnham. It must be noted that the FPAT is not involved in the funding of this statue and therefore has no ownership interests in the statue.

4. To protect the Council, and the donor of the sculpture, from future uncertainties or claims associated with ownership, it would be necessary for the sculptor to formalise the donation by completing a Deed of Gift. The Deed would be prepared by the Council’s Legal Section (without cost to the sculptor or additional cost to the Council) and would clarify (and, where appropriate, limit, as in the case of theft) the obligations the Council will undertake on receipt of the gift.

5. If the Council were minded to accept the statue as a gift, it would become the property of the Council and by virtue of ownership thereafter the Council would be liable for any future costs associated with the maintenance of the statue as defined with the Deed. To support the Council with these costs, the artist has agreed to pay a commuted sum of 5,000 to pay for any future maintenance costs.

6. It is difficult to anticipate how much will be required for maintenance, but given the nature of the statue, officers believe 5,000 would provide a sufficient sum to deal with maintenance for the foreseeable future. The piece would not be insured against theft or damage, but the statue would be covered by the Council’s existing public liability insurance premium.

Conclusion

7. Given the profile of William Cobbett internationally and the link to the Town of Farnham, the proposal presents an opportunity to mark the association. The piece would enhance Gostrey Meadow and bring about an improvement to the public realm. If the Council does agree to accept the statue as a gift, the piece would become the property of the Council. To assist with future maintenance costs, the artist has agreed to pay the Council a commuted sum of 5,000.

Recommendation

The Executive is asked to:

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Background Papers (DoE&L)

There are no background papers (as defined by Section 100D(5) of the Local Government Act 1972) relating to this report.

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CONTACT OFFICER:

Name: Julie Maskery Telephone: 01483 523432

E-mail: jmaskery@waverley.gov.uk

comms/executive/2004-05/231