£300,000 Margaret Thatcher statue needs plinth 'to keep out vandals'

The Margaret Thatcher statue Credit: Douglas Jennings/PA

A statue of former prime minister Margaret Thatcher in her home town of Grantham will require a high plinth to curb the threat of vandalism, according to police.

Plans to install the £300,000 statue on a 10ft-high platform will be voted on next week amid fears it could become a "likely target for politically-motivated vandals".

However, the police added that despite a "motivated far-left movement… who may be committed to public activism" who are against Mrs Thatcher "the passage of time does seem to have diminished that feeling".

Members of the South Kesteven District Council’s Development Management Committee will vote on the proposals next Tuesday after the idea had 17 objections and seven people writing in support.

A report to the committee said: "In general there remains a motivated far-left movement across the UK (though not so much in Lincolnshire) who may be committed to public activism.

"Margaret Thatcher does however maintain an element of emblematic significance to many on the left and the passage of time does seem to have diminished that intensity of feeling."

Margaret Thatcher with George HW Bush in 1989. Credit: PA

Currently, the only marking of Baroness Thatcher in the Lincolnshire town is a plaque on the corner of North Parade and Broad Street to show where she was born.

Plans to erect the statue in Westminster were rejected by Westminster Council last year with a report saying it could have attracted "potential vandalism and civil disorder".

The report to the authority in Lincolnshire said these issues were present in this case.

The statue which could be installed in Grantham. Credit: PA

It said: "The divisive nature of Baroness Thatcher due to her political career and policy legacy and the potential for this to result in vandalism has been raised as a concern.

"A threat assessment has been carried out by Lincolnshire Police who consider there is a possibility any public statue of Baroness Thatcher could be a target for politically motivated vandals.

"Lincolnshire Police’s Crime Prevention Officer has not objected to the proposal but they have recommended the statue is placed on a sufficiently high plinth and is sited in a location that benefits from good natural surveillance as well as lighting and CCTV."

Letters in support of the statue said the location – at St Peter’s Hill in the Lincolnshire town – was suitable to "commemorate the first female Prime Minister", while objections said Baroness Thatcher was a "divisive figure to due to political career and policies".