'Let's have a statue of Alice'
A campaign has been launched to build a statue in memory of Leicester suffragette Alice Hawkins in the spot where she delivered impassioned speeches to win women the vote.
Councillor Adam Clarke wants to see a memorial put up in Leicester Market to the campaigner, who lived from 1863 to 1946 and was imprisoned five times during her democratic struggle.
Coun Clarke, who represents Aylestone, has asked Leicester City Council to support his proposal.
He said: "Alice Hawkins was an incredible woman.
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"I believe the most appropriate place for a statue would be in or close to Leicester Market, where she spoke with great bravery and at great personal risk to crowds on many occasions.
"One Sunday evening Alice was speaking to crowds at Leicester Market when a male heckler shouted: 'Get back to your family'.
"Alice responded something along the lines of 'but they are here beside me, supporting me!' – and they were. Alice's husband Alfred was jailed for supporting her."
As well as being jailed five times for her beliefs, she was invited to Hyde Park to be a keynote speaker to 250,000 people. She also spoke at factory gates and market squares across Leicestershire and Northamptonshire and was in close correspondence with fellow suffragette Sylvia Pankhurst.
Coun Clarke said: "To my mind Alice is a hero of Leicester who should be more widely known and celebrated."
He said he hoped a statue could be funded through the Arts Council or charitable trusts or foundations and sited in the proposed £7 million redevelopment of the city's indoor market hall.
Assistant mayor Coun Piara Singh Clair said the matter will be discussed by the council on September 26.
He said: "It would be useful to have a community partnership of the type which saw the (£20,000) statue to Gandhi erected in Belgrave Road.
"We are open-minded to help and assist any groups or individuals with this sort of proposal."
Alice Hawkins' great grandson, Peter Barratt, who grew up in the city, said: "Alice did campaign in the market 100 years ago and it would be fitting for a statue to be put there.
"She is part of the social history of the city and women's rights which spans all cultures across the world.
"The family would do all we could to support that idea."