Council make u-turn on Kathmandu order to remove iconic statues

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 10 Aug 2017

The Kathmandu statues have been saved.

Hull City Council had ordered for the iconic statues standing outside the Ferensway store to be removed, claiming they were a "trip hazard".

But following significant online support against the decision, the council has now said they will remain, describing it as an "exceptional and rare case".

Owner Anthony Kettley says the authority has "come to its senses" after making a dramatic u-turn on the decision to get rid of the statues, which have been there for 25 years.

The Buddha statue on Ferensway

Following a visit to the shop yesterday by a senior highways official, Mr Kettley said: "I am just pleased they brought down the guy from Highways Agency to discuss the matter with us and take a much more understanding approach.

“For the City of Culture, these really are cultural statues, so we are really glad to be able to keep them out in front of the store.

“We are an independent business so to make a decision now which will help a small business like us is great. They’ve come to their senses."

Officers were branded "jobsworths" as people took to social media to express their outrage.

However, the council says it will continue to enforce their Street Charter, set out to help those who are visually impaired and disabled people navigate the streets better.

The statues outside Kathmandu

Mr Kettley said: “People have been coming into the store all day long talking about the statues in support of. It’s been great and really shows just how many customers really care about the store.

“It’s blown up on social media and we’ve had overwhelming support, so hopefully there will be many others who are pleased with the decision.”

A council spokeswoman said: “We will continue to enforce the Street Charter for the benefit of visually impaired and other disability groups, however as with the introduction of any new policy, its implementation gives rise to some exceptional and very rare circumstances and having considered the Kathmandu statues, this is one of those cases.

“Though we would emphasise that there will be very few exceptions as our commitment to keeping our streets safe for those with disabilities is a paramount concern.”

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