Whitechapel Bell Foundry (95)

I am very grateful to the Gentle Author for writing an update on what is happening on his blog Spitalfields Life (see below).

As he rightly says, there are glimmers of hope that a solution might be found through cross-party action in the House of Commons. It seems that there are parliamentarians across the spectrum who recognise the great importance of the Bell Foundry, not least as the place where Big Ben was cast. I have always assumed that Robert Jenrick wanted it saved. Otherwise, there would have been no point calling the decision in. Also, it was decidedly unorthodox for him to condemn a decision which had been made in his name.

So, what can be done ? I hope the question of a CPO (Compulsory Purchase Order) is being properly investigated. I hope that the Review Jenrick has ordered is investigating the system already in place for the acquisition of major works of art. I think the best bet may lie in the decision being forensically examined by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, chaired by Julian Knight MP, including particularly the role of Historic England in supporting it, and/or the equivalent Select Committee for Housing, Communities and Local Government, chaired by Clive Betts. And are there not people in the House of Lords who can get involved ?



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