Council has 'no immediate plans' to remove Stroud's controversial Blackboy statue and clock

The statue has been in Stroud since the 18th century Credit: ITV West Country

A council in Gloucestershire has said it has "no immediate plans" to remove a statue that has been described as "offensive" and "racist".

Stroud District Council has previously said it supports proposals to take down Blackboy Statue from Blackboy Clock in Castle Street – as well as rename the monument.

Publicity around the review of street and building names intensified after a survey given to residents showed 79% of respondents felt the 18th century statue should be removed.

A spokesperson said: "There are no immediate plans to remove the Black Boy clock and statue in Castle Street, Stroud.

Blackboy statue is believed to have links with the transatlantic slave trade Credit: ITV West Country

"The council has voted to explore how removal could be achieved and this process is expected to take some time.

"This follows extensive consultation and response, and the public will have further opportunity to have their say. As we have stated previously, removal is not guaranteed.

"Approval for removal would be required from stakeholders including the owners of the clock and statue, the Local Planning Authority, Historic England and very likely the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

"This is part of an ongoing conversation about how our district can become a more inclusive place for everybody living in it, in response to concerns raised from residents."

In the wake of the Black Lives Matter Protests of 2020, there were more than 1,600 responses to a council-led review of street names and monuments.

Councillors have questioned the need to remove the clock and statue suggesting it would be comparable to erasing history.

They suggested keeping the monument and adding a plaque might be more appropriate.

Others raised concerns over the estimated total cost of the recommendations which adds up to more than £50,000 in total. More than half of that would be the cost to remove the clock.