Revealed, real reason Wedgwood was smashed
A SCuLPTuRe dedicated to Josiah Wedgwood was demolished after a council leader said it was ‘ best to get rid’ – and later appeared to blame workmen for the blunder.
The 10ft red brick statue of the 18th-century pottery founder and abolitionist was created in 1986 and had stood in Festival Park in Stoke since 2009. but it was reduced to rubble earlier this year during work to widen a road close to the city centre, sparking outrage among locals.
Stoke-on-Trent City Council apologised for the mistake and appeared to blame contractors, describing it as a ‘significant operational error’.
However, it emerged yesterday that the statue, created by late sculptor Vincent Woropay, was approved for demolition by former deputy council leader, daniel Jellyman, who told officers: ‘Nothing lasts forever, best to get rid.’
A freedom of information request by bbC Radio Stoke uncovered emails and memos between Mr Jellyman and council officers. A note said the statue, which had to be moved for the works, had deteriorated and it would be difficult and expensive to move it without causing more damage.
but if a contractor removed and disposed of the piece, there would be little cost, it was said.
Mr Jellyman, then the cabinet member for heritage, agreed. He quit last month from this role as well as from his deputy council leader post. A council investigation found the correct approvals had not been in place.