Agenda item

Agenda item

Peterloo Memorial

Report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure


This report provides an update on the decision taken in respect of the Peterloo Memorial following the public meeting on 3r March 2021, and the comments received during and after the meeting. 


The Committee received a report of the Director of City Centre Growth and Infrastructure which provided an update on the decision taken in respect of the Peterloo Memorial following the public meeting on 3 March 2021, and the comments received during and after the meeting.


The main points and themes within the report included:


  • Background information;
  • The public meeting which took place on 3 March 2021; and
  • Comments submitted by people who were unable to attend the meeting.


Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:


  • To note that the Committee had asked for a review of planning processes to identify the failings in this case and ensure that they were not repeated in future and that the Executive Member for the Environment would be taking this forward;
  • How would the Council ensure that people and organisations it commissioned were also committed to accessibility;
  • To thank those involved in trying to find a solution to this, in particular the campaign group, and to welcome that the Council was working to ensure accessibility for other memorials, such as the Glade of Light; and
  • That the Memorial should be promoted to all communities as not everyone was aware of the event that it marked.


The Deputy Leader assured Members that, when the Council commissioned work or a service from an external organisation, accessibility would be stipulated in the conditions of the contract.  He advised that the Council could also influence external organisations to take into account accessibility where they had to engage with the Council though the planning process or because they wanted to use public land.  He stated that the Peterloo Massacre was an important moment in Manchester’s history and that it was important that as many people as possible knew about it.  He reported that a review of statues and monuments in the city was currently taking place and that most people who had responded wanted to understand the history around them, both good and bad. 


Mark Todd, speaking on behalf of the Peterloo Memorial Access Campaign and the Greater Manchester Coalition of Disabled People, advised that this had now gone past the point of trying to work with the artist and the architect to find a solution.  He reported that he and the other campaigners had developed a detailed proposal for a solution to make the Memorial fully accessible to disabled people and that they wanted to work with the Council to see if this could be delivered.


The Lead Member for Disabled People proposed that she meet with Mark Todd, the Deputy Leader and the Executive Member for the Environment to look at this new proposal.  The Chair welcomed this, advising that it was best that this was pursued outside of the scrutiny process now, in order for it to be progressed more quickly.


The Ward Councillor for Deansgate welcomed the opportunity for this to be looked at from a fresh approach.  She suggested that, in addition to informing the public about the events of Peterloo, perhaps through QR codes, the mistakes that had been made with the Memorial could also be recorded.  She expressed regret that, while Deansgate Councillors had raised the issue of accessibility during the process, they had perhaps been too easily satisfied with the response and thanked the campaigners for their work and patience.  The Chair suggested that the Deansgate Councillors be invited to the meeting to discuss the new proposal, to which the Lead Member for Disabled People agreed.  A Member suggested that the Council’s partners could be approached to provide a contribution towards the costs of making the Memorial fully accessible. 




1.            To note the report.


2.            To welcome that the campaign group and representatives from the Council will be meeting to explore the new proposal being put forward.

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