Statues in the Square Mile linked to the slave trade and colonialism could be pulled down if there is public demand.
The City of London Corporation is looking for public feedback on whether changes should be made to monuments, street names, and names of buildings in the capital’s financial district.
It has set up a ‘Tackling Racism’ Taskforce that will hold a three-month public consultation, starting today, September 1.
The UK’s towns and cities have been reflecting on the legacy of colonial figures and their place in the public eye, following mass protests linked to the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in America.
“Like many areas of the country, the City of London has a number of statues and other landmarks with links to the slave trade and historic racism,” said Caroline Addy, co-chair of the Taskforce.
She continued: “It’s important that we acknowledge and address this legacy with openness and honesty, and carefully consider what should be done.
“We are committed to equality, inclusivity and diversity, and to ensuring the Square Mile remains a place where people of all ethnicities and backgrounds feel safe and welcome.”
It comes after a statue outside the Guildhall of William Beckford, an 18th century slave owner and former Lord Mayor of London, was the target of a petition calling for it to be removed.
Sir John Cass’s Foundation Primary School is also due to announce a change to its name because of Sir John’s connection to The Royal African Company, which traded slaves.
In June, the statue of another 18th century slave owner, Robert Milligan, was taken down by Tower Hamlets Council.
The City of London Corporation said all responses to the consultation will be considered by the Taskforce, which will then make recommendations to the Corporation’s Policy and Resources Committee before final decisions are made.
Find out about the consultation by clicking here: cityoflondon.gov.uk/historiclandmarksconsultation