Town Labour councillors show support for naming streets after fallen soldiers

Labour councillors say they would support a scheme to name new streets in Crawley after fallen soldiers.

Last month the Observer reported how Carol Brackpool, whose son John died in Afghanistan while serving with the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, supported an idea in Worthing to name streets after its fallen soldiers.

With new developments in the pipeline for Crawley, such as the North East Sector, the Observer approached Crawley Borough Council to see if it would consider naming roads after the town’s fallen. But it said it decided not to pursue the idea as a naming scheme because it said it would be too difficult and potentially upsetting to choose one person over another.

Cllr Michael Jones (Lab, Bewbush) said: “In principle, the Labour councillors who I have spoken to are of the view that if the relatives of those members of the armed forces would like it, then we would support it. As the councillor who proposed Crawley Borough Council signing up to the Military Covenant, I would personally welcome work being done to dedicate the names of roads to members of the armed forces who have given their service, and sacrificed much, for their country. “In fact, I cannot think of anything more appropriate. In fact, if the council has been reluctant to commit to this, I would like to know why, they have not done so with any consultation with borough councillors that I am aware of.”

Council leader Cllr Bob Lanzer (Con, Pound Hill South and Worth) said the council’s decision did not mean streets would not be named after fallen soldiers, it just would not do this as part of a scheme. He said an application has to be made to the council to name a street and the cabinet member for Environmental Services would then consult with other councillors. Or, a councillor could raise the idea as a new policy for implementation which would go through the usual democratic processes.

He continued: “I was asked my view and felt that we should not pursue this idea as a naming scheme which is not the same as saying that some street(s) would not be named after fallen soldiers. No other councillor has approached me saying that they should have been consulted on this. I emphasise that the council has democratic processes in place should any member wish to raise a new policy idea for implementation. Implementing a naming scheme would not be straightforward and would have to be handled with great sensitivity.”