Stop destruction of the Chartist Mural
  • Petitioned Newport City Council

This petition was delivered to:

Newport City Council
First Minister of Wales
Carwyn Jones
Chief Exec, Arts Council of Wales
Nick Capaldi
Arts Director Arts Council of Wales
David Alston
M.P. Newport East
Jessica Morden
AM Newport west
Rosemary Butler
Head of Continuing Learning and Leisure, Newport City Council
Ffion Lloyd
Cabinet Member responsible for the Chartist Mural, Newport City Council
Mark Whitcutt
CEO, Newport City Council
Will Godfrey
Executive Director of Planning, Newport City Council
Sheila Davies
Labour MP for Newport West
Paul Flynn
Conservative Group Leader, Newport City Council
Matthew Evans
Wales Economy Minister
Edwina Hart
Senior Heritage Planning Manager
Matthew Coward
Council Leader, Newport City Council
Bob Bright
Wales Minister for Culture and Sport
John Griffiths

Stop destruction of the Chartist Mural

    1. Petition by

      Save Our Mural

A DARK CLOUD HAS GATHERED OVER NEWPORT SO HERE'S THE 'SAVE OUR MURAL' CAMPAIGN STAFF'S RESPONSE TO THE REFUSAL OF A PRESERVATION LISTING FOR NEWPORT'S CHARTIST MURAL AND THE COUNCIL'S SUBSEQUENT PRESS RELEASE (http://www.newport.gov.uk/_dc/index.cfm?fuseaction=news.pressrelease&contentid=CONT716512):

When the Save Our Mural campaign staff had its meeting with Newport Council's Chief Exec, Will Godfrey (will.godfrey@newport.gov.uk), and Executive Planning Director, Sheila Davies (sheila.davies@newport.gov.uk), at the Civic Centre two months ago we were reassured of their intent to save the mural if it was deemed technically feasible in the report they had commissioned from their independent engineers (Mann Williams).

Whilst we have not yet been granted access to this report (paid for with our tax money), we understand from the document issued last week by Cadw (dated 12/09/13 - ref: http://bit.ly/CadwPreservationRefusal) that Mann Williams' report has indeed "established that relocation may be technically possible…".

We therefore urge Will Godfrey and Sheila Davies to honour their commitment and seek funding from the Welsh Government to at least help remove and store Newport's Chartist Mural until the commercial development's dust has settled. All other arguments against such an initiative are spurious.

For example, we understand from Cadw's preservation refusal document that Mann Williams cite a price tag of £600,000 for the mural's relocation, yet this figure has not been substantiated by inviting a single competitive tender and - strangely - without consultation to the renowned mosaic specialist, Oliver Budd (son of the mosaic's creator, Kenneth Budd) who is the only man who actually knows the detail of how the mosaic was originally constructed/affixed and who successfully relocated his father's huge JFK mural in Birmingham (ref: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkZG0z4BvLE).

We also understand from the preservation refusal document that Cadw were informed by Newport Council that "it would be virtually impossible to find an alternative location that could take the weight of the panels and offer the necessary weather protection". This misrepresentation flies in the face of Sheila Davies' personal reassurance during our meeting that there are at least two sites (which she discussed with us in detail over a map of the city) that could accommodate the mural if its relocation was deemed technically feasible by Mann Williams. Furthermore, she stated that she already had a site in mind for the storage of the mural while redevelopment work was ongoing.

Finally, we understand that the Council has informed Cadw that: "the additional time [that] would be required to be added to the demolition process would also jeopardise the delivery of the redevelopment scheme." We consider this argument as disingenuous (at best) as Oliver Budd and his contractor partners only took a week to remove/store Birmingham's JFK mural and, in any event, the removal work for Newport's mural could be carried out concurrently with other demolition/development work which will clearly take months to complete (and has been planned for years!).

We therefore conclude this response by once more urging Newport Council and our elected officials to do the right thing by Newport's citizens - past, present and future - and SAVE OUR MURAL!! 

Recent signatures

    News

    1. Reached 4,000 signatures
    2. Chartist Uprising Over Use Of Welsh Government Funding To Bulldoze Mural

      Fellow Chartists!

      Following the decision by Preservation group, Cadw, not to list our much-loved mural for preservation, the council has now announced they plan to knock it down (using £1.5m of Government funding) to make way for the £100m scheme planned by London developers, Queensberry Real Estate.

      Accordingly, we invite you all to join our demo (http://bit.ly/NewportInsurrection) to place pressure on the council and developers to incorporate our mural in their plans or at least have it safely relocated.

      We therefore look forward to your support so please feel free to bring banners, placards, musical instruments or anything else that will make a loud noise or create a more colourful photo-opp for the media.

      In the words of John Smith, "Our Cause Is Just!"

      Regards,

      Zennis
      Communications Officer
      'Save our Chartist Mural'

      Press Release: http://bit.ly/SaveOurMuralRelease-1
      Web: http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurMural
      Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SaveOurMural

    3. Reached 3,000 signatures
    4. The campaign finally meets with Newport City Council

      The Campaign finally met with Newport City council at the invitation of Chief Exec, Will Godfrey .
      He and Sheila Davies, strategic director met us at the Newport Civic Centre Wednesday 10th of July.
      We had a very positive meeting and were reassured of their intent to save the mural, although it is clear that it would need to be relocated.

      They said that they had thought the campaign was wanting to insist that the mural remain in the place it was created.

      We advised them this was not the case and we agreed to looking at the feasibility of it being moved to a new location where the people of Newport can continue to enjoy it and share it's important message.

    5. Reached 2,000 signatures
    6. Decision-maker Bob.Bright responds:

      Bob.Bright

      Shockin decision.


    7. Decision-maker Paul Flynn responds:

      Paul Flynn

      Why do none of the recent 'petitioners' have e-mail addresses. Genuine or not?


    8. Reached 1,000 signatures
    9. Chartist Mural features in London Conference by The 20th Century Society

      Great work folks !!!

      Save Our Chartist Mural

      We have been contacted by Henrietta Billings from the C20 Society who want to include the destruction of Newport Chartist Mural in a conference being held this coming Friday 8th March

      Morley College, London SE1
      Entitled " Murals in Britain 1920-1970: Revisions, revelations and risks."
      They are very keen to support us.

      The Twentieth Century Society exists to safeguard the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards
      We have supplied Henrietta with clips from our recent interview with Oliver Budd and high resolution images of Kenneth Budd's work on the mural
      www.c20society.org.uk

      The Twentieth Century Society

      The Twentieth Century Society exists to safeguard the heritage of architecture and design in Britain from 1914 onwards.

    10. Reached 750 signatures
    11. One week and over 700 signatures ...

      Great news !!! over 700 people have now signed this petition over the last week . Much thanks to all those who are supporting it. If you haven't done so already, please Friend our campaign's facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/SaveOurMural and SHARE as many of the posts as possible to help spread the word and stop those bulldozers!"

      Save Our Chartist Mural

      Here in Newport on 4th November 1839 marched three bands of men to The Westgate Hotel. They asked...

    12. Reached 500 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Guido Jones LA LAGUNA,TENERIFE, SPAIN
      • 6 months ago

      This monument remembers one of the most important events in Welsh history and the most important suchevent in Newport. Vital in social progrress gained by sweat and blood against the coal owners.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carol Edwards SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      We need to preserve such historic items both for their beauty , work and the important historic significance behind them, without which, we would be throwing away a piece of the past that deserves remembering and appreciating.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • richard williams SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      The Welsh and local govt. should ensure our culture survives, and is promoted to thhe country and the world. money isnt everything.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • iain sewell SA15 3DP, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      I feel that this is part of our historical heritage and should be maintained

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Karen Laurence SWANSEA, UNITED KINGDOM
      • 7 months ago

      freedom to be yourself essential for feeling happy xxx

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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