Streets will no longer be named after individuals in case they later become controversial, a council has announced.

Senior councillors in Denbighshire in Wales agreed the policy last week which will also mean that street names in that part of the country must be in Welsh.

Councillor Richard Mainon, who is responsible for corporate services, said that the policy will avoid the need to go to considerable efforts to change the name of a street if it is no longer considered appropriate, although this was not the main consideration behind the policy.

He told the meeting of the council: “As times change these names don’t stand the test of time and there’s a lot of work needed to change them.”

He said: “It was a policy review that came about at a time when there was national media attention on the inappropriateness of some place names. But it wasn’t the main consideration of the review.”

The main reason for the review, he said, was to avoid placing the “burden” on council officers of having to determine whether someone was worthy of having a street named after them.

Several families of fallen members of the armed forces had made requests in the past year, he said, meaning the council was left having to make a very difficult judgement call.

Exceptions could be made for people who had made a “once in a generation” contribution or truly excelled, such as Sir Captain Tom Moore’s efforts to fundraise for the NHS.

He said this was something the local armed forces were in support of. “That isn’t why they serve,” he added. “We said it should really only be a consideration where someone has done something worthy of the highest military honours.”

The BBC quoted senior council officer Emma Jones at the meeting: “It’s the street naming officer who bears the burden of whether a person is worthy of having a street named after them.

“It’s a heavy burden and we need to remove the normalisation of naming streets after individuals.”

Mr Mainon added: “If something of national importance happens like Sir Tom Moore, that’s extraordinary.

“The fact it only happens once in a generation makes it special. “

Since the Black Lives Matters protests last year, many areas have reviewed street names and statues over their depictions of people linked to the slave trade.


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