Statement on the future of the Buller statue in Exeter
Published: 13 January 2021
Council Leader Phil Bialyk has stressed no decision has been taken to move the Buller statue in Exeter.
It comes after members of the Council’s Executive discussed a proposal from a Task and Finish Group to investigate relocating the statue, currently based at Hele Road.
Executive voted in favour of applying for planning permission regarding the statue– a process that would require a formal consultation process.
The issue will now be discussed at a meeting of the full Council on Tuesday, 23 February. Any decision following the planning process would also have to return to Council for a final decision.
Funding would also have to be found. Members were told at last night’s Executive meeting that there was no revenue allocated.
Cllr Bialyk said he had received similar numbers of emails in favour and against relocating the statue to another site, and stressed that no decisions had yet been made on its future as of yet.
He said: “We have not voted to remove it. There is a recommendation that we seek to relocate it in another place.
“Before we can do that there would need to be a formal planning application. That’s when we would have a full public debate and consultation, where we will again listen to what everyone has to say.
“Once we have done that it would then need to return to Council for any decision.
“There are strong views on this and many of the emails I am receiving assume a decision has already been made. It hasn’t.”
Cllr Bialyk added: “I don’t want to see the history of my city cast aside. What I want is for it to be seen from a modern perspective going forward, so my children and grandchildren can understand what happened all those years ago and to reflect on it, and to learn from our history.”