Councillor secures public consultations lock following Crewe roundabout artwork backlash

By Ryan Parker

17th Mar 2023 | Local News

The 'Solar Glazer,' installed on Jack Mills Way/Gresty Road roundabout, was taken down in September 2022 (Nub News
The 'Solar Glazer,' installed on Jack Mills Way/Gresty Road roundabout, was taken down in September 2022 (Nub News

A councillor has successfully fought for local residents to always have their say on future public artworks - following backlash from a Crewe roundabout sculpture.

Councillor Allen Gage (Willaston and Rope), pushed for this following the building of the controversial 'Solar Glazer' - installed on Jack Mills Way/Gresty Road roundabout.

The structure had been left partially built on for approximately seven months - next to Crewe Commercial Park. 

The Solar Gazer had been left partially built on for approximately seven months - next to Crewe Commercial Park (Nub News).

It was finally pulled in September last year - following complaints from local residents and Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan. 

Dr Mullan was delighted the 'eyesore' was taken down - now hoping for a better roundabout artwork to be installed in Crewe.

He said: "I, like many residents, was frustrated that developers were just allowed to put up an eyesore of a structure on the Jack Mills Way roundabout – without locals being told or asked.

"It gave a bad first impression of Crewe, and the finished artwork would have no relation to Crewe at all. 

"Well done to Allen, who has worked hard to get this change and ensure that people will always get a say in any art that is put in in our area.  

Crewe and Nantwich MP, Dr Kieran Mullan, was delighted the 'eyesore' Solar Gazer was taken down (Wikimedia Commons).

"Hopefully, we can now get artwork that looks good and shows off our proud history and heritage."   

The Crewe Solar Gazer roundabout sculpture had been funded by developer Goodman Logistics.

Safety concerns about the structure had been identified ever since its installation.

Cllr Gage was delighted with the public consultations he has secured for local residents regarding any new pieces of public artwork.

The Willaston and Rope councillor said: "I submitted a Notice of Motion in November calling for the public to be given a say on any public artwork being implemented in their communities. 

Willaston and Rope Conservative councillor, Cllr Allen Gage, was delighted with the pubic consultations lock (Cheshire East Council).

"Recently, we have seen the removal of the expensive but failed 'Solar Gazer' on Jack Mills Way, a piece of alleged artwork that bore no benefit or local cultural significance whatsoever. 

"The council produced a draft policy talking about engagement at the outset - an often selective or invitational process.

"I discussed with colleagues on the Economy and Growth committee and urged them to table an amendment 'locking in' a full consultation open to all, which thankfully found wider support and now guarantees that the public will have a say from now on.  

"Public artwork helps define both the places we live and also the outside perceptions of the places in which it is implemented with long-lasting effects.

It is now hoped a new public artwork piece can be secured for Gresty Road/Jack Mills Way roundabout (Ryan Parker).

"If the council believes they are doing the right thing when commissioning public art, they should have nothing to fear by allowing the public to express their feelings."

It is now hoped a new public artwork piece can be secured for Crewe's Jack Mills Way/Gresty Road roundabout.

READ MORE: Crewe woman who 'brought anguish to the NHS' handed Criminal Behaviour Order.

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