Peer’s con­cern over me­mo­rial

The Jewish Chronicle - - NEWS - BY LEE HARPIN

A NA­TIONAL Holo­caust me­mo­rial lo­cated next to Par­lia­ment in the al­ready con­gested West­min­ster area of cen­tral Lon­don will dis­rupt the lives of or­di­nary peo­ple and lead to pos­si­ble “re­sent­ment”, a lead­ing Con­ser­va­tive peer has warned.

Lord Wasser­man, who worked with Theresa May at the Home Of­fice and is an ex­pert in polic­ing mat­ters, said he wel­comed the plan for the me­mo­rial and ac­com­pa­ny­ing learn­ing cen­tre but con­sid­ered the pro­posed site in Vic­to­ria Tower Gar­dens “a ter­ri­ble idea.”

Lord Wasser­man, who is him­self Jewish and lives close to Par­lia­ment, said: “I know the area very well, and I am wor­ried par­tic­u­larly about two things — traf­fic and se­cu­rity.

“We are talk­ing about a free stand­ing mu­seum which is ex­pected to be wel­come one to two mil­lion vis­i­tors each year. I want peo­ple in Lon­don, all over the coun­try, to wel­come this mu­seum. But for this to hap­pen, it has got to be easy to get to and from.

“This site could not be more dif­fi­cult to get to and from, be­cause it is on a nar­row street that is al­ready ex­tremely

Lord Wasser­man busy. We are look­ing at the in­evitable dis­rup­tion of or­di­nary Lon­don­ers — and this will lead to re­sent­ment. In 10 years’ time, when streets are closed, every­thing will be blamed on this build­ing.

Lord Wasser­man said the lo­ca­tion was also a mis­take “from a se­cu­rity point of view”. He said: “You will have to have armed guards and erect bol­lards, and it will not be ac­cept­able to let coaches and cars park out­side for ob­vi­ous se­cu­rity rea­sons.

“We al­ready have two vul­ner­a­ble sites nearby, [West­min­ster] Abbey and the Par­lia­ment build­ing. We don’t need a third one. I am very wor­ried about it”

The peer said it would make sense for the me­mo­rial to be lo­cated at the Im­pe­rial War Mu­seum in nearby Lam­beth.

“There is a con­nec­tion there. The two things are re­lated. If they do not want to go south of the river, then why not Hyde Park, where there is plenty of room.” A spokesper­son from the UK Holo­caust Me­mo­rial Foun­da­tion, which is in charge of the £50 mil­lion scheme, said a prom­ise had been made to Holo­caust sur­vivors to cre­ate a na­tional me­mo­rial next to Par­lia­ment “as a pow­er­ful and fit­ting site of re­mem­brance.

“We want Bri­tain’s Holo­caust sur­vivors to know that we will

not break that prom­ise.”

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