Plans to relocate Exeter’s General Buller statue could be dropped

General Buller's statue in Exeter.

Plans to possibly relocate Exeter’s statue of General Buller could be withdrawn.

The statue of General Sir Redvers Buller and his horse Biffen was put up outside the entrance to Exeter College in 1905.

In January, Exeter City Council agreed an application should be made for listing building consent for the relocation of the statue to an alternative location.

A review recommended it be relocated due to the soldier's connection to the British Empire.

But the council is now being recommended to overturn a decision which would have started the process.

It comes after comments made by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, who suggested such applications are unlikely to be successful.

Cllr Phil Bialyk, leader of the council, said: “In light of the comments by the Secretary of State my Executive will be asked to amend the recommendations, and we will not be submitting a planning application to relocate the Buller statue.

But I must stress that we will be addressing the issues which first brought this to the attention of many councillors. There are a number of important recommendations about equality and diversity in our city that we will be taking forward.

Cllr Bialyk, leader of Exeter City Council

“The council should look to make sure we are doing all we can to be aware of the particular images and messages that public art and monuments may express, and strive to make these as representative of our inclusive and diverse communities as possible.”

General Buller served in Canada, China and most famously in South Africa in the Zulu Wars.

Engravings on the statue, which is on display in Exeter.

His statue, which was paid for by money raised by the people of Devon, was unveiled on ‘Buller Day’ in 1905.

A review recommended it be relocated due to the soldier's connection to the British Empire, and its close proximity to “an educational establishment, which includes young people from diverse backgrounds".

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