The Manchester Liberal Democrats are supporting the Peterloo Memorial Campaign for a prominent, explanatory and respectful monument to this hugely significant event in the fight for democracy. At the last full Council meeting I raised objections to Manchester City Council's plans to commemorate Peterloo with a set of Gates blocking off Library Walk. I asked the Leader of the Council to abandon the idea and instead to work with campaigners and residents to find a fitting tribute. I said that it is vitally important that there is democratic involvement in marking this significant event in our struggle for democracy. I said the Leader should consider holding a memorial design competition and ensure the public are involved throughout the process. I called for a detailed design brief to be worked up to ensure that the memorial is sited in a prominent location, that it is informative of what happened and it is respectful of those people that gave their lives.
It now appears that the Council have done a U-Turn on their plans for commemoration gates. Sadly though the Council is not planning to make this a democratic process. The decision to commission the memorial will be made by just three Labour Councillors: Cllr Leese, Cllr R. Battle and Cllr Karney with two council officers acting in an advisory role.
Manchester Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign alongside Peterloo campaigners and others for a fitting and democratic Peterloo memorial.