An Englishman of forty years residence in Wales pontificates about politics (slightly off-message), films and trivia. Secretary of Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats. Candidate for Neath in the Westminster elections of 1997 & 2017 and the Welsh general election of 2016.
Tuesday, 1 April 2014
Shamelessly stolen from the Neath Ferret:
NEW PUBLIC ART PROJECT FOR NEATH?
An anonymous source within Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council has revealed that the Council is supporting a Heritage Lottery Fund application for a significant new public art project to be located in Neath Town Centre.
Although there is nothing in the public domain at the moment it is understood that the proposal is to provide a life-size, solid bronze statue of successful Neath MP, Peter Hain. The capital cost is estimated to be of the order of £130K but it is hoped to secure one half of this through the Lottery Fund. The remaining £65K is intended to be sourced from a number of avenues. The Council itself is expected to contribute up to £20K, subject to approval of its Finance Committee. Neath Constituency Labour Party will also sponsor the scheme and it is hoped to bring in sponsorship from a game to be played between Neath RFC and the Ospreys, both of whom are clubs with which Peter Hain has close associations. Our source has also told us that no less than Lewis Hamilton may make a personal contribution, in honour of Mr Hain's regular attendance at Silverstone over many years, and his support for the motor racing industry. Any further shortfall in funding is likely to be made up by a concert to be held in the Gwyn Hall, where proceeds will go towards the project. It is hoped that well known local artists will provide their services for free, including Katherine Jenkins and Max Boyce. Peter and his wife Elizabeth will attend, and there will be a chance for everyone to personally meet the great man and his wife, pictured right at their home in the Neath valley.
The statue itself will be located in Victoria Gardens to stand close to that of another famous Neath philanthropist, Hywel Gwyn. Its construction poses a few technical difficulties due to access issues. It is planned to commission the piece in two distinct stages. Firstly the base or plinth will be provided. This is going to be a huge, monolithic block of Pennant sandstone, locally sourced. However it will have to be airlifted into place by helicopter where it will be carefully lowered onto a pre-prepared foundation. There will then be a short delay of a couple of months to allow the ground to settle. It is understood that during this period Mr Hain himself has offered to stand on the plinth at weekends and is prepared to meet constituents (weather permitting) and discuss their concerns. After this period the statue itself will take pride of place, with a formal opening ceremony expected to be led by Mr Hain's mentor, Lord Kinnock (left);
The official announcement of the Heritage Lottery Fund bid is expected to appear on the Council's website before 12am on 1st April.
Readers outside Neath (and quite a few within the town) will need the additional information that philanthropist Hywel Gwyn was in fact a corrupt and mendacious Tory MP.