26 April 2022
Public opposition to a proposed art installation on the River Cam continues to grow, with a petition set up by Friends of the Cam gathering over 300 signatures in its first week.
Cambridge Green Party previously referred to the project (which would encase about 50m of riverbank in gold-coloured metal) as a 'farce’ and it seems that many residents agree.
During a public consultation the Council heard from people concerned about the messages this artwork would send and about its impacts on the environment. Many have pointed out the money could be much better spent elsewhere.
Local campaigner Jean Glasberg addressed the Environment and Community Scrutiny Committee on behalf of both the Federation of Cambridge Residents (FeCRA) and Friends of the River Cam. She said: “This proposal shows a complete lack of understanding of both the natural environment and what it is that people value about the river and this very special landscape, and there seems a misguided focus on what would be a 'visitor attraction’. The project has failed to engage the community as required in the brief, and the public response to the resultant 'Work of Art' shows clearly that it is felt to be harmful to the river and nature reserve rather than preserving and enhancing them.”
Green Councillor Hannah Copley asked the Council to delay further funding decisions until the results of the consultation had been properly assessed, but was overruled. Cambridge City Council is now committed to spend up to a further £140,000 on the project. This is in addition to the £120,000 already spent.
Jean Glasberg is the Green Party’s candidate for Newnham ward in the upcoming elections.