Twinning statue to finally be unveiled by Fareham council

A CONTROVERSIAL sculpture to mark fifty years of twinning between two towns is finally set to be unveiled.

Tuesday, 23rd August 2016, 6:00 am
The original design for the Fareham Vannes twinning sculpture

Fareham Borough Council are set to reveal their 10ft sculpture of a tree with two intertwined trunks in the garden of Westbury Manor Museum in West Street on September 12.

It will mark the golden anniversary of Fareham’s twinning with the French town of Vannes.

Despite the £17,600 sculpture’s unveiling being only three weeks away, few eyes have cast a glimpse over the final statue.

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Councillor Sean Woodward, leader of the borough council has yet to see the final product.

He said: ‘The sculpture has been through quite an alternating process since it was announced.’

Initial designs for the bust were criticised by the Fareham Vannes Twinning Association, who say they were not consulted on the statue.

It was originally proposed to be located at the Sensory Garden of Reflection in Osborn Road but the council later agreed to move it into the museum’s garden.

Councillor Woodward said: ‘We took the association’s comments on board and I’m excited to see the final product.

Ann Mellor, from the association said: ‘We are delighted that the town’s twinning will be commemorated and that the council is recognising the effort that we have made over the last 50 years.

‘However, we were disappointed not to be consulted on the plans so it will be interesting to see what the final product will end up looking like.’

Chris Wood, a Ukip councillor on the council does not agree with the cost to create the statue.

He said: ‘It’s a complete utter waste of money in my opinion.’

The unveiling will follow a march from sailors at HMS Collingwood earlier in the day, with thousands expected to turn out to see the parade.

Around 150 sailors will be exercising their ‘Freedom of the Borough’ and march through Fareham.