Sluice ""a great opportunity

A LEADING city group has answered some of the fierce criticism of Ely s Sluice sculpture. The City of Ely Perspective Group, which contributed £2,000 towards the project, has responded to public criticism of the piece with a statement this week that aims

A LEADING city group has answered some of the fierce criticism of Ely's Sluice sculpture.

The City of Ely Perspective Group, which contributed £2,000 towards the project, has responded to public criticism of the piece with a statement this week that aims to allay residents' fears.

Perspective member Sheila Friend-Smith, who sat on the steering committee for the project, said: "We felt there were a few things people didn't know about the project.

"We all agree that money would be well spent on issues like the buses in Little Downham, but what people may not realise is that this was money from the Art Council and is has to be spent on public art."


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The statement aims to address public questions about the sculpture, and outlines which organisations were involved in the project, and who was consulted.

"I think something that hasn't come across is the fact that not all of the money has been spent on the sculpture itself - a lot of money has been spent on public awareness and many people have taken part in workshops for the project."

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The statement says the piece will not be noisy and that Sluice will be constructed out of hard-wearing materials to minimise damage by vandals

The life-span of the piece is estimated at around 10 years and the sculpture will cost in the region of £350 a year to maintain.

"We do understand why people have reacted the way they have, but this has been a generous grant and it's a wonderful opportunity for Ely."

# An ely-standard.co.uk poll has found that Sluice has divided the opinion of the community, with a slender majority voting against the project.

Just over 52 per cent of our visitors said the sculpture is an eyesore that will ruin the riverbank, while just under 48 per cent believed the waterside would benefit from the installation.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

More than 350 people took part in the on-line vote. Visit www.ely-standard.co.uk for news updates and the latest on-line poll.

Write and let us know what you think about the Sluice project by writing to the editor at: Ely Standard, 38 Market Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4LS or email: editor@ely-standard.co.uk

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