Our proposal for a Memorial to Conscientious Objectors and all who oppose war has been enthusiastically approved by the Transport and Environment Committee of the City of Edinburgh.
Edinbrugh Peace & Justice Centre Coordinator Brian Larkin outlined why there should be a Memorial to COs in Princes St Gardens. Artist Kate Ive, who created the design proposal, described the design and the original concept behind it. Dr. Chris Ogden, a local supporter spoke emphasised that the Memorial would represent values of tolerance, diversity and the important role of conscience.
Here is a full transcript of our deputation to the Transport and Environment Committee setting out Why We Need an Opposing War Memorial in Princes St Gardens now. Our testimony can also be viewed starting at 40 minutes into the webcast of the Committee meeting.
Councillors unanimously supported the proposals with the exact location to be decided by officers. Green Cllr Chas Booth said: “I think it’s fantastic. It’s clearly beautiful and it encourages thought, it encourages respect for those who showed the bravery to stand up in the past to war.”
Conservative Cllr Nick Cook praised “the consideration and the thought that has gone into this”. Transport and environment convener, Cllr Lesley Macinnes who formerly worked for a landmine and cluster munition non-governmental organisation said: “I was tasked with dealing with those weapons and the impact of those weapons both during conflict and post-conflict. I’ve witnessed and understood very clearly the impact of war on human lives – the practical, the social, the very human cost attached to war. I think it’s very important that the voices that represent opposition to that can be heard in every situation. “I think it’s very important that it’s heard in Scotland’s capital city.”
As it is a World Heritage site final approval for the Memorial to be sited in Princes St Gardens has to be given by the Planning Committee. Determination of the exact location within the Gardens will take into account development of the Ross Bandstand and other areas as event spaces. These considerations will be worked out with Council officers and require approval by the Planning Committee. This is expected to take place within the next six months.
The project budget is £167,773.00. To date we raised £18,317 and have spent £14,640. This means that to complete the project we need to raise £149,456.
Here is a report on the decision is in the Edinburgh Evening News.