A TOWN councillor has suggested looking to the past to stop people from getting their hands on a piece of Petersfield royalty.

John Lees believes that fencing would be a way of stopping people climbing all over King William III when his statue returns to The Square after repairs.

He believes the installation of railings and planters around the foot of the plinth would both deter vandals and make it more attractive.

“When it’s back up I’m sure the vandals will get up on it again, so how about a little attractive gate with plants on it?” asked Mr Lees when Petersfield Town Council met last Thursday.

Councillors heard the statue was surrounded by railings in the 1960s, and earlier when The Square regularly hosted livestock markets.

They also heard that while the statue is the responsibility of Hampshire County Council, its surroundings are overseen by East Hampshire District Council, as there are plans to install an information plaque to give some context to the feature.

The statue is expected to return in October.