Parish council reject call for George Michael statue in hometown
Fans that called for a George Michael statue to be built in his hometown have had the idea shot down by officials.
The council in Goring-on-Thames, Oxfordshire, said no to the request of a £10,000 statue to remember the late singer, claiming there’s insufficient details for them to allow it to go ahead.
Admirers of the icon who died on Christmas Day in 2016 wish to erect a monument outside his former cottage in the village in his honour. But that, as well as a two-day concert in his memory, has been shut down because it’s not ‘thorough enough’ in its preparation and planning.
Fan group ‘George’s Lovies’ intended to hold the event on 23-24 June which coincided with the late singer’s 55th birthday.
Councillor Catherine Hall said: ‘I have read the plan through and, while I’m not an expert, it seems rather insufficient and more of an outline with a few notes. It simply isn’t enough.
‘I feel that we can’t agree anything until we know exactly what is being proposed. I am reluctant to even agree in principle because we risk stirring up a hornets’ nest among residents. There’s a lot of resistance in the village.’
According to the council, a majority of the wealthy residents were against any big-scale tributes in the village that is home to around 3,200 people.
The other idea to put up a statue of Michael sitting on a bench (or sofa) on the high street, to replicate the pose he did for his 2004 Patient album cover, was also turned down for practical reasons.
Hall went on to say that if the council accepted the bench as a donation, then it’d be their responsibility to maintain it and that’s not something they’re keen on.
‘There are similar problems with the bench for his statue. There’s a budget but no information on funding or whether they have even approached the family for support, so essentially there’s nothing for us to consider.’
It’s also claimed that the risk assessment would be ‘extensive’, too, with residents complaining that they were against the idea.
However, councilman David Brooker gave the group hope: ‘Bear in mind that we’re a village with thousands of people. If five or six people pop in and moan, does that represent everyone’s views?’
Fans may feel disheartened by the initial setback but they gotta have faith things can be amicably resolved.
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