Hartlepool civic chiefs' stance on town statues amid nationwide controversy

Hartlepool civic chiefs do not plan to review the town's existing statues and street names in response to nationwide reviews prompted by the Black Lives Matter protests.
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A number of local authorities, including Durham County Council, are reviewing their statues and public monuments after a number have been pulled down and targeted across Britain.

Hartlepool Borough Council says it is opposed to all forms of discrimination and oppression.

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The local authority plans to carry out equality and diversity reviews for all future statues and street names, but not retrospectively.

Statues of Andy Capp, Sir William Gray, and Baden Street street nameplate.Statues of Andy Capp, Sir William Gray, and Baden Street street nameplate.
Statues of Andy Capp, Sir William Gray, and Baden Street street nameplate.

Hartlepool has two streets named after Robert Baden-Powell – Baden Street and Powell Street in the Burn Valley area.

The founder of the Scout movement has been accused by campaigners this week of racism, homophobia and support for Adolf Hitler, and a statue of him in Poole, Dorset, has been temporarily removed for its protection.

A Hartlepool Borough Council spokesperson said: “We are proposing to undertake an equality & diversity review for future statues and street nameplates, taking into account all areas covered in the Equality & Diversity Act and our own Council policy.

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“This aims to ensure that going forward our commemorative statues, place names and exhibitions fully reflect the diversity of the town, and demonstrate that as a town we are united in our opposition to all forms of discrimination and oppression.”

Andy Capp statue on the Headland.Andy Capp statue on the Headland.
Andy Capp statue on the Headland.

Statues in Hartlepool include Ralph Ward Jackson, the founder of West Hartlepool, in Church Street; shipbuilding company founder Sir William Gray in Church Square, and cartoon strip character Andy Capp on the Headland.

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