Outrage as Wasps civic reception signed shirts moved to council deputy leader's office - The Coventry Observer

11th Aug, 2022

Outrage as Wasps civic reception signed shirts moved to council deputy leader's office

Felix Nobes 30th Aug, 2018 Updated: 31st Aug, 2018

A COUNCILLOR is outraged that two framed signed Wasps Rugby and Netball shirts have been taken off public display and placed in the deputy leader’s office.

Conservative councillor Tim Mayer has written an open letter to Coventry City Council’s deputy leader, Labour’s Abdul Khan, demanding the shirts be returned to the Council House corridors.

The shirts from both sporting clubs were awarded to the city of Coventry at recent civic receptions hosted by the Lord Mayor.

‘Before and after’ photographs, which we publish here, show how the shirts were previously on display in the ground-floor corridor alongside a signed Coventry Rugby club shirt, but have now been replaced with other pictures including one of Martin Luther King.

A Coventry City Council spokesperson confirmed to us the shirts are now on the wall in Coun Abdul Khan’s far more private office.

Coun Mayer claims the shirts were donated to the council for all residents in the city to view easily.

He said the donation was intended to encourage celebration among the public for a remarkable year of sporting success in the city.

Coventry City Football Club was also given a civic reception after winning promotion, as did Coventry Rugby club.

Wasps’ civic reception in April was to celebrate their 150-year history – despite only four of those being in Coventry.

The letter published on Coventry Conservatives’ website reads: “Dear Coun Khan. We have had a great year or two in Coventry for sport.

“As someone who works in the sports industry, and has done for over 12 years, I was so proud when Coventry was announced as the UK’s European City of Sport for 2019.

“This coincided with the announcement of the new waterpark in the city centre, the new 50-metre pool at the Alan Higgs centre and the Sports and Wellness Hub at the University of Warwick.

“Coventry City Football Club won at Wembley, Coventry Rugby were promoted as champions of SSE National League One and Wasps Netball came first in the Netball Superleague.

This proves our sports strategy is working and that Coventry is building on the wonderful legacy of London 2012.

“Given these achievements I was delighted the signed shirts, donated kindly by Wasps Rugby and Netball at the Lord Mayor’s civic event, had been displayed in the Council House for all members, colleagues and more importantly the public to enjoy.

“I even brought my daughter in to see them.

“The motivation for this donation is to encourage people to realise the achievements of those around them.

“It helps people get behind our city and showcases its achievements.

“These framed signed shirts were donated for all residents in our city to enjoy.

“I am therefore really disappointed that you have seen fit, in your position as deputy leader of the council, to move them.

“I think it is safe to assume the intent was not that these items be hidden away in one councillor’s private office.

“Please can you put these back on display for all our city residents to enjoy? Many Thanks, Coun Tim Mayer, Westwood Ward.”

A council spokesperson told us: “Coun Khan said that all offices in the Council House are public offices, and that members of the public and visitors attending meetings can view any number of memorabilia that is displayed throughout the Council House at any time.”

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