What does public opinion matter?

Published: Wednesday, 14 July 2010

LAST year there was a meeting at the Corn Exchange at Devizes to consider British Waterways scheme of erecting two statues, one at each end of the Kennet & Avon Canal. One at Reading and one at Bath, to celebrate the 200th year of the waterway.

There were 90 people at the meeting, and the overwhelming opinion was that it was a ridiculous scheme, and at £140,000 a complete waste of money, with just 15 in favour out of the 90.

At the meeting Adrian Folds commented:

"The canal is in a bad state, with locks needing urgent attention and it being silted-up by the river and all you want to do is spend all that money on a couple of daft figures. It could be better spent on the canal itself with a simple plaque stating the celebration."

Erect a sculpture

Notwithstanding the opposition and the public opinion it has been decided to erect a sculpture  by the side of the locks at the Kennet & Avon at Bath, at an unspecified cost.

No doubt those people present at the Devizes meeting will be wondering what is the point of British Waterways arranging a public meeting when it has no intention whatsoever of taking notice of its outcome.