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Council confirms position on controversial statues

Following national protests and demonstrations as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, Bridgend County Borough Council has confirmed that it does not look after or maintain any controversial statues of historical figures in the area.

The protests have resulted in several UK councils taking steps to remove some statues of historical figures, while local authorities are also being asked to consider whether buildings, parks, playing fields and streets may have links with individuals criticised as part of the protests.

First of all, I would like to confirm that Bridgend County Borough Council has a zero tolerance approach to racism and other forms of harassment and discrimination. We fully support BAME members of our community and our staff, and have a long-term commitment to tackle any inequalities within our communities. I can further confirm that the council does not maintain any statues or monuments to controversial figures within Bridgend County Borough. While we are unaware of any council-owned buildings or local streets that have been specifically named after a controversial historical figure, we understand that some streets may share similar surnames, and that this is generating a lot of confusion.

A case in point is the use of the name Picton in communities throughout the area. While some assume this to be associated with the brutal slave owner and controversial Governor of Trinidad, Sir Thomas Picton, others believe that it is more likely to be linked to Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Picton-Turberville, a former owner of Ewenny Priory. This issue will need to be researched and considered in more detail, but in the event that any resident wishes to apply to have a street name changed, an existing legal process is already in place to support this.

This takes into account appropriate consultation with residents, affected businesses, the Royal Mail and local town and community councils, and also clarifies the financial impact for making necessary changes to official documents such as mortgage deeds and more.

Council Leader Huw David

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