On 25 January the Leader of Derbyshire County Council, Councillor Barry Lewis, wrote to me on the subject of Ashbourne's Black's Head figure.
Unfortunately the letter revealed an incomplete understanding of the recent resolution agreed by the District Council on this matter and I was keen to point this out in my reply the following day.
This would have been the end of the matter had Cllr Lewis’s own letter not been released to the media. The Ashbourne News Telegraph subsequently published an article claiming the District Council’s stance had “legal flaws”. The newspaper did not contact us for our side of the story, which was disappointing.
While I would personally have preferred the correspondence with Cllr Lewis to have remained private, I now feel I must stress that the District Council's decision not to return the figure to its original location is subject to listed building consent being received and that Officers have been asked to consult with Ashbourne Town Council, the neighbouring parish councils and Ashbourne Heritage Society in relation to the future of the head and sign.
This information is in the public domain following the resolution approved at our 14 December Council meeting, which can be watched again on our YouTube channel below:
I can confirm that, as agreed, we intend to start very shortly the consultation exercise before applying for listed building consent. This will mean that the application can accurately reflect this consultation and hopefully lead to a positive proposal as to what should happen to both the head figure and sign.