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We need a prince statue
3:50pm Tuesday 17th December 2013 in News
VICTORIA Gateway should be enhanced with a statue of the “Prittlewell Prince” and a fountain, a councillor has said.
Judith McMahon, who represents Kursaal, Southend, called for a statue of the Saxon royal, whose remains were unearthed near Priory Crescent in 2003, to be erected outside Southend Victoria station.
Ms McMahon said: “Residents, via the Victoria Gateway consultation returns, say the location, as the gateway to the town, should be visually enhanced.
“As few could dispute the Prittlewell Prince is the golden transformation for the town, now our most precious son, internationally noted and recently returned from Europe, alongside Vatican exhibits, it should be he that graces that location.”
The Labour councillor called for a statue of the royal and a water feature to be commissioned for the public space, which is empty save for a statue, entitled the Return, of a woman hugging a man.
A ninth-month review of Victoria Gateway concluded trees, seating, lighting, or even a kiosk, could be added to the open space to give a “sense of place”.
It also called for a “bolder public art installation” than the Return, which has failed to attract people to the area.
Planning officers are looking at how to make the space, which is used by skateboarders, greener after the Tory administration agreed it needed to be spruced up.
The council has employed charity Sustrans to ask residents how they want public spaces improved.
Ms McMahon suggested the large disused fountain outside the Civic Centre be moved to the Victoria Gateway in October.
Responding to Ms McMahon at a full council meeting, Derek Jarvis, councillor responsible for culture, said: “I think all members would recognise the importance of the Prittlewall Prince and its value to our sense of pride and place. However, potential works need to be set in context with the area and be at an appropriate scale and be practical to maintain.
“While the Victoria Gateway review has set out the potential for further enhancing the area, there may be other locations in the town that are equally appropriate, so I will ask others to consider your suggestion, while exploring further proposals in the joint council and Sustrans ‘pocket places’ project.
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