A 108-year-old memorial to a controversial Bury St Edmunds author will be given a much-needed makeover, after a council agreed to help fund the project.
Bury Town Council allocated £3,000 to the Bury Society’s renovation of the statue, which was erected in Vinery Road in 1910 for Victorian author Maria Louise de la Rame who worked under the pseudonym Ouida.
Their decision came after a presentation by Martyn Taylor who is heading up the project.
The author is known for her alleged hatred of Bury St Edmunds, after infamously saying that its residents rang their own doorbells to stop them rusting up.
Councillor David Nettleton opposed the grant on the basis that he didn’t want to honour someone who hated the town.
“This is an unpleasant woman who hated the town and an ugly monument, so why should we spend £3,000 of public money on something that nobody likes?” he said.
He also supported an amendment to the grant, which would have seen the council allocate £1,250, but this was not supported by other councillors.
Cllr Ann Williamson said: “I don’t think we can just support the good things in Bury’s history. I think we need to show both sides, the good and the bad.”
Cllr Paul Hopfensperger said: “I think we need to support the Bury Society because if we just leave it, it’s going to get worse and worse and worse.”