I think that the words 'Get Real' may apply to some of the inhabitants of Winchester at present.

We currently live in a country that appears to be in rapid decline and even in this wealthy city some are suffering hardship. Yet the Cathedral has apparently decided to spend £100,000 on a statue of a overrated writer who spent a very short time in the city deploring many of its residents.

I have no idea if a financial deal is behind this decision, as has been suggested, but I have no doubt that the visits of the US Jane Austen society would help to swell the Cathedrals coffers.

Personally I agree with Andrew Rutter (Chronicle, Letters, March 14), that a much better idea would be for a statue to the hard hat diver William Walker MVO. This gentleman spent five years working in two four hours shifts a day to save our Cathedral from certain collapse, and sadly died shortly afterwards aged 49, a casualty of the flu epidemic.

If it was not for Walker there would be no cathedral, and thus no opportunity to waste money that should be directed elsewhere.

Mrs Michelle T Fox-Rousell,

St Cross Road,

St Cross,