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A council has brought in 24-hour security to protect a seaside statue of Lord Baden-Powell today after it dramatically abandoned plans to remove it

by Louella Faulkner (2020-09-15)

A council has brought in 24-hour security to protect a seaside statue of Lord Baden-Powell today after it dramatically abandoned plans to remove it.

A war of words has broken out between Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poolice Council and local police, after the council claimed it had decided to remove the statue on the advice of Dorset constabulary. 

The decision by BCP council, run by an alliance of Lib Dem, Labour, Green and Independent councillors, has descended into farce having claimed they took the decision after Dorset Police advised them to remove it 'to minimise the risk of any public disorder or anti-social behaviour' following chaos in Bristol when a bronze of slave trader Edward Colston was torn down on Sunday.  

But the force later hit back by saying it only provided safety advice after the council approached them saying it was a 'potential target' for a BLM protest - while the Scout Association suggested it had no knowledge of the council's plans until after a decision was made.   

A Dorset Police spokesman said: 'The decision on whether to remove the statue was not one for the police and no advice was given to remove it.' 

Council leader Vikki Slade, a Liberal Democrat, appeared to blame her officials for the mix-up and tweeted: 'I acted on the advice I was given that discussions had been had with the police'.

austria-picjumbo-premium-collection-low.And this afternoon she received a hostile reception when she briefly visited the statue this afternoon. If you loved this short article and you would love to receive more info with regards to we are eager to please our Customers at the level thought to be lost Twenty-five years ago. kindly visit our web site. She was confronted by a group of local residents who accused her of acting without public consultation before she left the scene. 

Local MP Conor Burns, who called the Baden-Powell plan a 'huge error of judgement', said following the postponement: 'It is now abundantly clear that the statement issued by @BCPCouncil yesterday saying Baden Powell's statue was being removed on advice from @dorsetpolice was not true.

Who wrote it? Who signed it off? After events in London and Bristol it isn't acceptable to undermine Dorset cops'. 

Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole (BCP) Councillor Mark Howell said they would be paying for round the clock guards after it appeared on a hit list of monuments to be toppled by Black Lives Matter protesters.

Former Scouts, some from more than 100 miles away, had rushed to Dorset and formed a ring of steel around the bronze monument fending off a disposal crew in Poole Quay at 7.30am as the campaign to remove 92 historic monuments in Britain hurtles on.

Mr Howell said that the removal is off for today because contractors didn't want to work in a 'circus', adding: 'We will be providing 24-hour security until it is either removed or the threat diminishes.

It is possible we might not take it away at all'.

He said a decision to temporarily remove the statue had been made following the 'listing of the statue on a website detailing potential targets for protestors.' He added the aim would be to return it to the Quay 'as soon as the threat level subsides.' 

Lord Baden-Powell was honoured with a statue in Poole 12 years ago because he founded the world Scout Movement that has helped tens of millions of children - and the bronze monument looks out to Brownsea Island where he held the first Scout camp in 1907.   

Former Queen's Scout Len Bannister, 79, was among those guarding it today and declared: 'If they want to knock this down - they'll have to knock me down first'.

He told ITV News: 'It's absolutely crazy. Who's it that actually wants to do it? I'll fight them off. I'm actually very angry - and I'm not a protester. I've had a lot of enjoyment because of him in my life because of him'.  Mr Bannister added: 'He is the reason I am still here, the pleasure he gives to so many people, they shouldn't take it down'.    

Black Lives Matter supporters, led by Jeremy Corbyn's Labour candidate at the 2019 general election, added the Poole statue to its 'topple the racists' list claiming was enthusiastic about Nazism and an admirer of Hitler's Mein Kampf and his Hitler Youth movement - although his biographer Tim Jeal has said this support was more about his distrust of communism. 

He became a British national hero during the Second Boer War in South Africa for defending a garrison town for 217 days from 5,000 Boer troops - but after his death in 1941 some modern historians branded him racist because he starved locals so he could feed his own soldiers. Baden-Powell also mounted an attack on masturbation and homosexuality, linking them to sexual and moral dissipation.  

As debate rages over the future of many of Britain's most famous monuments, it has also emerged:

  • Paint has been thrown at a statue of Lord Nelson at Deptford Town Hall in South East London;
  • A plaque commemorating 17th slave century trader Captain Thomas Phillips has been removed from Brecon in South Wales; 
  • The statue of Edward Colston, which was toppled on Sunday and sparked the campaign, has been dragged from Bristol harbour; 
  • Oxford University's vice-chancellor Prof Louise Richardson has claimed Nelson Mandela would not have taken a 'simplistic solution to a complex problem' like removing Cecil Rhodes' statue from Oriel College;
  • ITV's Saturday Night Takeaway latest TV show to be removed and hosts Ant and Dec issue apology for 'impersonating people of colour' as footage of those sketches are taken down;
  • In America Donald Trump has refused to rename Army bases linked to the Confederacy as Richmond' Virginia's statues of Jefferson Davis - former president of the Confederacy - is ripped down overnight; 

Rover Scouts Chris Arthur (left) and Matthew Trott (right) pose in front of a statue of Baden-Powell on Poole Quay today after a removal team was blocked from taking it away

Councillor Vikki Slade, leader of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council talking with the crowd at the statue as she was accused of ordering its removal without any public consultation and blaming the police 

Former Queen's Scout Len Bannister, 79, is guarding the Baden-Powell statue this morning declaring: 'If they want to knock this down - they'll have to knock me down first' - and hours later the council postponed it

Local residents and scouts show their support for a statue of Robert Baden-Powell, including one woman holding his hand - and now it appears they have won a reprieve

Scout Matthew Trott, 27, told MailOnline he had travelled over 100 miles from his home in Cwmbran, Monmouthshire, to Poole to salute the statue

Local residents gather by a statue of Robert Baden-Powell, the founder of the Scout movement, at Poole Harbour today

A 'hit list' of 78 statues and memorials to some of Britain's most famous figures has been created by an anti-racism group urging local communities to remove them because they 'celebrate racism and slavery'


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Officials from Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council today said it was still their intention to remove the statue of Lord Baden-Powell - but there plan will be to return it when a 'threat diminishes'.