A PETITION aiming to give Reading's renowned black history mural listed status has caused controversy among councillors recently.

The petition, started by Black Lives Matter Reading (BLM Reading) was addressed to the Reading Borough Council (RBH) on September 25.

In the petition statement BLM Reading claims the council plans to hold a private meeting tonight, September 28, regarding the future of the building, as well as the iconic mural.

The petition is urging the council to give the site listed status "as soon as possible". In the space of three days, the petition has already gained more than 2,950 signatures.

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A spokesman for BLM Reading said: "This petition seeks to help get the Reading Black History Mural listed status.

"From 1990, the mural has held much cultural significance for Reading.

"The mural features key figures in black history, such as Harriet Tubman, Olaudah Equiano, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr, Malcolm X, Toussaint Louverture.

"The mural painted on the side of the former central club building is now old enough to have listed status.

"In 2017, the mural was put under threat when Reading Council sold the building to private developer Redline.

"In response, the Reading Conservation Area Advisory Committee has since inquired for the mural to be listed. Historic England has said that they will consider it.

"There is a private council meeting on September 28 that will discuss the future of the building along with the mural.

"Prior to the meeting, there has been no information made available to the public.

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"We are deeply concerned that the preservation of our mural may be at risk.

"We request that the mural be listed as soon as possible to give it maximum protection from any possible development on the site.

"This petition is for the Reading community and all individuals that wish to join us in campaigning for the mural to receive listed status."

Following the news of this petition, controversy has been caused among councillors in the Reading Borough.

Green Party Cllr Rob White shared the petition via Twitter on September 26, however this led to Labour members saying that councillors claiming that the mural is at risk is "misinformation."

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Liam Challenger, Labour Cllr for RBC, said in a Tweet: "This is lies and misinformation spread here.

"There are no plans to remove, destroy or damage the Mural.

"The council will remain freeholders of the building and plan on protecting this icon at all costs.

"No information in the public domain yet as it’s commercially sensitive."

To sign the petition, visit change.org/p/reading-borough-council-give-readings-black-history-mural-listed-status?.