Peer’s concern over memorial
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.”