A replacement poppy - but which one?

The interesting article by Daniel Angelini on a replacement Poppy for Royal Wootton Bassett is a rather limited observation on what the citizens of the town apparently want to see coming to the plinth on Marlowe Way, on which the Council have already spent over £120,000.

First, the Council Committee are not truly taking into account the views of the town’s people, who as an ex-mayor I have canvassed.

A majority said they would like a replacement of the Forever Poppy, a title limited to the artwork produced by Mark Humphrey, the original artist, and not the new artist proposed by the Council Committee.

Second, this is where there is a dichotomy, because the Council Committee is proposing spending nearly £300,000 on a new artistic design which has not been approved by the public. Mark Humphrey, on the other hand, is prepared to donate, yet again, a redesigned and re-engineered Forever Poppy, which does have the approval of a majority as shown at a public meeting.

There would be no charge to the town for this new and wonderful structure as Mark is prepared to assume all costs himself.

One exceedingly good piece of news during this period of personal restriction and lockdown.

Third, as a replacement Forever Poppy is readily available at no cost. It begs the question as to why the Council Committee is so set on asking the public, businesses and school children for donations during a time of financial hardship for many. Has the Council Committee got its priorities right or is it seeking an expensive and misguided way of making an impression on the voters of the town before the next local elections?

Ian Ferries

Sorrel Close

Royal Wootton Bassett