Agenda item

Legal Street Art Wall Petition

The following petition has been submitted:

 

Title: Legal Streetart Wall

 

Statement: We the undersigned petition the Council to help us organise/find a designated area/wall/walls to become a legal spot in Spalding for street artists/artists to be able to paint there.

 

Justification:  Many from around the area have commented on social media, after seeing some local work and talent, that it would be a nice attraction for the town to have a legal streetart wall – somewhere people can go to paint.  Peterborough has one and it has been a huge attraction for the city, with people coming from all over the country to visit the artwork.  Having something like this in Spalding will attract many big named street artists to come and paint here, and also be an attraction for the town , bringing more business/customers to the rest of the town whilst they visit.  Schools can also use an area/wall to do art projects, and the local community could put on workshops, to teach the younger generation about the streetart culture, to respect the artwork and to teach them how to do it.

 

 

The Council’s petition scheme states that where more than 850 signatories to the petition have been received, that it will be debated by the Full Council.  This petition has received in excess of this number, via electronic and paper versions of the petition.

 

Karl Barfoot (petition organiser) and Adam Sadd will attend to present their petition to the Council. 

 

The procedure for the debate is as follows:

 

·         The petition organiser will be given 5 minutes to present the petition at the meeting;

 

·         The petition will be discussed by councillors for a maximum of 30 minutes (to be extended at the Chairman’s discretion);

 

·         The Council will decide how to respond to the petition, and the following options are available:

 

      i.        To decide to take the action the petition requests;

    ii.        To decide not to take the action requested, and for the reasons to be put forward in the debate;

   iii.        To commission further investigation into the matter, e.g. by a relevant committee

   iv.        Where the issue is one on which the Council executive are required to make the final decision, the Council will decide whether to make recommendations to inform that decision.  The petition organiser will receive written confirmation of this decision.  The confirmation will also be published on the Council’s website.

Minutes:

The following petition had recently been submitted to the Council:

 

Title: Legal Street Art Wall

Statement: We the undersigned petition the Council to help us organise/find a designated area/wall/walls to become a legal spot in Spalding for street artists/artists to be able to paint there.

Justification: Many from around the area have commented on social media, after seeing some local work and talent, that it would be a nice attraction for the town to have a legal street art wall – somewhere people can go to paint. Peterborough has one and it has been a huge attraction for the city, with people coming from all over the country to visit the artwork. Having something like this in Spalding will attract many big named street artists to come and paint here, and also be an attraction for the town, bringing more business/customers to the rest of the town whilst they visit. Schools can also use an area/wall to do art projects, and the local community could put on workshops, to teach the younger generation about the street art culture, to respect the artwork and to teach them how to do it.

 

In line with the Council’s petition scheme, the petition organiser was invited to present the petition for debate at Full Council.  The Chairman welcomed Karl Barfoot (petition organiser) and Adam Sadd to the meeting, and they raised the following points in respect of their petition:

 

·         Karl and Adam had met through doing street art and painting in Peterborough.  Their aim was do something closer to home and to give something back to the town;

·         They had liaised with Spalding Wombles to do some artwork on arches behind the Spalding Rugby Club.  This had resulted in a tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore, which had received positive feedback;

·         Public reaction to artwork undertaken had been positive – it had been publicised online, on the radio, newspapers and the BBC;

·         They felt that street art would not increase the incidence of graffiti.  Since doing projects around town, there had been no vandalism of the artwork, and very little increase in graffiti in the town;

·         No Council funding would be needed for a legal street art wall – all that was required was a wall on which to do the artwork; 

·         The organisers would keep the wall tidy and were happy to maintain the area if any offensive material appeared on it.  However, it was felt that the artwork would not be defaced;

·         There was a large amount of public support for the proposal;

·         Graffiti artists were looking for a site where they could legally express themselves

·         Karl and Adam were happy to share pictures of work they had undertaken, and much of it was available to view on FaceBook;

 

Following the presentation, Council members considered the information, and the following points were made:

 

·         Members congratulated Karl and Adam on their presentation to Council.

·         The Leader commented that if the Authority was to provide a Council-owned wall to the individuals, it would have to be done with a certain amount of governance around it to ensure there were no issues further down the line.  He had spoken with the Chairman of the Policy Development Panel and suggested that the issue be considered by a sub-committee of the Panel.  Issues to be considered would be how the space was managed, criteria, who could use it and where.  The Panel was not due to meet again until after Christmas however, a special meeting would be set up to start the process off.  After the Panel had considered the issues, the ultimate decision would be made by the Cabinet.

·         It was important for the potential wall to be an asset to the town, and that it was not vandalised.

·         Councillors Carter and Worth had met Karl and Adam and this had been a very positive experience.  They wanted to work with the Authority to find out what was required, and then interpret this into their work.  The Councillors were willing to assist with regard to Holbeach.

·         People would have different opinions on art however, it was generally felt that this work was positive.  Some street art in Peterborough had raised the profile of mental health, and the tribute to Captain Sir Tom Moore in Spalding had been well received and improved a run-down area. 

·         Councillor Newton commented that when she had been first aware of the petition, she had suggested that the Monkshouse Pavilion could be a suitable place for this artwork.  This suggestion had been declined but she agreed that it was important for more detailed consideration to be given to the proposal – there could be many positive outcomes to it.

·         Members agreed that the artists were very talented.

·         There needed to be some control over the content on the proposed wall, and this could be considered as part of the work of the Policy Development Panel. 

·         Within East Lindsey and Boston areas, there were some examples of art work near the train station – it had not been defaced and looked positive.  It was felt that if the work was good, it would not be defaced.  It was encouraging to hear that the artists were happy to take responsibility for the wall.

·         Councillor Taylor had spoken with Karl in the summer regarding ideas for his ward.  They were talented artists, and it would be good for the Authority to work together with them.

·         Members questioned whether this group of individuals would be the only ones entitled to work on the wall, or could other individuals contribute, and would content be shared before being added to the wall?  It was felt that this was an area for the Policy Development Panel to consider as part of its deliberations. 

·         It was a good idea to use this type of art to tidy up untidy areas.

·         Could consideration be given to using the skate park in Spalding for this type of artwork, in an effort to address graffiti issues?

·         The Chairman of the Policy Development Panel confirmed that he was happy for this piece of work to come through the Panel, to ensure that it was dealt with correctly.  

·         The work had brightened up some areas that were more run down and had created a destination in some cases.  It was important that the town was able to flourish and to be kept safer – if taken forward correctly, this would be a positive move forward.

 

Members supported the proposal made by Councillor Porter, that the issue be considered by a sub-committee of the Policy Development Panel.

 

DECISION:

 

That a special meeting of the Policy Development Panel be organised in order to consider membership of a sub-committee to look at the potential creation of a street art wall, and issues to be addressed.  Potential issues raised for consideration included:

 

·         Governance around the operation of the street art wall;

·         How the space could be managed, to include – who could contribute to the artwork on the wall; content of the artwork; who would be responsible for maintaining the wall should it be defaced, and to keep it in a good state;

·         Potential locations