As many residents will know, there is a national proposal to create a holocaust memorial and learning centre to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust is preserved and that the lessons it teaches are never forgotten. The national committee promoting the memorial have identified Victoria Tower Gardens, next to the House of Lords, as their preferred location. You can see more details by clicking here and, if you’re interested to see more, there is a public exhibition taking place at Convocation Hall, Church House, Great Smith Street SW1P 3NZ on the following dates:
- Wednesday 5th September to Friday 7th September between 12pm and 7pm
- Saturday 8th September between 10am and 4pm
As your St James's ward councillors, we have been speaking to many local groups about the plans. Overwhelmingly, local residents have welcomed the idea of a memorial and learning centre, but they also see this as the wrong location for such an important national monument. With concerns over the huge impact on the already small-scale park, increased traffic, poor accessibility and also security - local residents have created a “Save Victoria Tower Gardens” website: www.SaveVictoriaTowerGardens.co.uk.
Our position as St James's ward councillors is that we are here to represent the local residents - who overwhelmingly want to see the memorial and learning centre in a more appropriate and accessible location. Later in the autumn, the UK Holocaust Memorial Foundation will be lodging a planning application with the Council and the Council’s official consultation will begin. We will be circulating details of where residents should write to express their opinions.
Cllr Louise Hyams, Cllr Tim Mitchell and Cllr Mark Shearer