Grantham

South Kesteven District Council has taken down an alternative Margaret Thatcher statue, depicting the Iron Lady with her head on a spike.

The statue appeared on the 10ft plinth on St Peter’s Hill in Grantham, where the original £300,000 bronze figure of the Iron Lady is due to be placed, over the weekend.

It was made entirely of plaster and office chairs by local artist MarkRobla, and shows the divisive former Prime Minister with her head on a spike and her iconic handbag below.

The homemade statue standing on the 10ft plinth designed for the council’s unveiling. | Photo: MarkRobla

The council has taken down the art installation on Monday evening and said they made police aware to ensure the area is safe.

A spokesperson for the council said: “The council has dismantled the unauthorised artwork and made the area safe for members of the public. We are also liaising with the police regarding this matter.”

The Lincolnite has contacted MarkRobla, the original artist of the alternative Thatcher statue, for a response, but are yet to receive a reply.

The plinth the Margaret Thatcher Statue will be placed upon in Grantham. | Photo: Kylie Warrington

Mark originally said he was “saving the council £400,000” by creating his £100 plaster figure, due to the proposed £100,000 unveiling event of the £300,000 statue.

It is far from the first sign of opposition aimed at the council’s plans for a Margaret Thatcher statue in her home town.

The statue of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that will be placed in Grantham, her birth town.

Over 14,000 people declared interest in a Facebook event that encouraged an egg-throwing contest at the statue when it was unveiled.

An artist from Grantham said he is “saving the council £400,000” by designing and displaying his own Margaret Thatcher statue in the town centre.

MarkRobla, a 34-year-old sculpture and street artist from Grantham, depicts the Iron Lady’s head stuck on a spike made from office chairs.

It stands at 5’3 and was erected onto the 10ft plinth, located on St. Peter’s Hill, that has been designed for South Kesteven District Council’s bronze statue of Thatcher.

The homemade statue currently stands on the 10ft plinth designed for the council’s unveiling. | Photo: MarkRobla

He put his statue in place at the green at 4am on Sunday, February 21, wearing a hi-vis jacket “just in case” someone asked what he was up to.

It took Mark around four months to complete, costing just £100 compared to the £300,000 spent on the original bronze statue from a public fundraiser.

Mark said that he has “saved the council £400,000 by displaying my new piece”, after council leadership outlined their £100,000 plans for unveiling the statue in Grantham town centre.

Mark’s design is made up completely of office chairs and plaster. | Photo: MarkRobla

The £300,000 statue has been a topic of debate and controversy in the town, ever since it was announced back in 2019.

Over 14,000 people on Facebook registered their interest in an egg-throwing contest at the statue for once it was unveiled.

The statue of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher that will be placed in Grantham, her birth town.

Mark told The Lincolnite that the response to his homemade sculpture has been mixed, but generally positive.

He said: “The response has been great, but there have been a few negative comments.

“I am surprised people are still behind the statue, but the fact my design has been a topic of conversation across the whole country is cool.”

Mark added: “A lot of people don’t think it looks like her, some have said it looks more like Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen.

“It is supposed to depict what she would look like after her head had been cut off.”

The statue also has a handbag at the bottom, a memorable accessory for the former Prime Minister.

At the time of reporting, the statue is still in place on the plinth, though Mark is hoping it doesn’t “get struck by lightning or something” in the meantime.

Grantham hospital has had no patients contracting COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic, with health bosses calling it a “substantial achievement.”

They said since it began, no coronavirus-infected patients had been treated on the ‘green site’ or its surgical pathways, so important procedures could take place such as cancer treatment.

Simon Evans, Chief Operating Officer at United Lincolnshire Hospitals Trust said: “[This] is a substantial achievement and reflects the enormous efforts of the teams over there, who are increasingly more and more vigilant.”

This means the trust has reached its three primary aims of treating patients in a safe environment from coronavirus, to deliver treatments at scale and in a timely way.

Grantham’s ‘green site’ status was introduced in June 2020 and has seen the hospital operate as a COVID-free facility in all departments except the Urgent Treatment Centre (UTC).

The temporary arrangements are set to finish on April 1, but this will go to consultation on March 16 where health bosses will confirm the move. This will also turn Grantham’s UTC back into its A&E centre.

Health bosses gave their second quarterly report on Grantham’s ‘green site’ arrangements in Lincolnshire County Council’s Health Scrutiny Committee on Wednesday.

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