Tuesday, August 14, 2018

No sign of any action to save Northampton's Eleanor Cross


I last blogged about the struggle to save Northampton's Eleanor Cross a year ago and there has been no good news since.
The Pipeline covered this slow-motion crisis today:
In spite of the cross being listed on the borough’s asset register, through the Winter of 2017/2018 the borough council was still arguing with Northampton County Council, disputing who actually owned the Grade 1 listed monument and was thus legally responsible for paying for the repairs. 
In November 2017, in a move which critics took as a further attempt to postpone having to commit cash for the repairs, the council chose to go with the recommendations of one of its own staff, Building Control Officer Lee Hunter, who suggested that the works could be postponed safely, rather than with the conclusions of the independent experts. 
In the spring of this year Northampton Borough Council finally admitted that it had responsibility for the Eleanor Cross and submitted a grant application to Historic England.

The Pipeline continues:
However, since the first week in May nothing further appears to have happened, while the cross appears to have suffered the further damage shown in photographs published this week on Social Media, including on the Save Our Eleanor Cross Facebook group and now here in thePipeLine.
The website contacted Historic England to ask when work would finally begin, but was referred back to the council.

Having spoken to the council, the Pipeline concludes:
Apart from the appointment of an, unnamed, lead adviser, to add to the extensive advice NBC has already had from Cliveden Conservation, Stress UK and Historic England, the Northampton Eleanor Cross is effectively no closer to repair work actually commencing than it was almost a year ago in October 2017.
It even suggests that the council intends to delay the necessary restoration work for much longer.

Given the council's poor record on preserving the town's heritage recently, it is hard to feel optimistic for the monument's future.

1 comment:

Keith Busfield said...

Sounds like an on-going saga of inactivity. Is it due to indifference, ignorance, incompetence or insolvency? It was sad to see the Cross as we cycled 200 miles visiting sites of all 12 crosses over the August Bank Holiday weekend in aid of a London homeless charity. See www.queeneleanorcycleride.org.uk