Watford street names under review

Watford street names under review

Watford street names under review

Watford street names linked to the slave trade look set to be changed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter campaign.

The issue will be discussed at a Watford Borough Council meeting tonight (Tuesday, July 14) after councillor Asif Khan put forward a motion to rename roads such as Rhodes Way, Clive Way, Colonial Way and Imperial Way.

The motion states Watford “has a rich, diverse and positive history which must be celebrated”.

One way of doing this, states the motion, “is to ensure that street names, buildings, statues and monuments reflect our town and that they do not contain any the negative history which this town abhors.

“The Black Lives Matter campaign has rightly focussed on the serious concerns of symbols of oppression and slavery.”

Councillor Khan believes that having streets named after people who were involved in the slave trade, colonisation and oppression, is no longer “trenable”.

He said: “Watford has been enriched by its ethnic minority citizens that have come from right across the world or born in UK. The likes of Luther Blissett, Anthony Joshua, John Barnes are but a few, who have made contributions to our town, but there are many more.”

The motion also suggests consulting with the Royal Mail, local businesses and residents to ensure that their views are considered and forming a task group to report back with suggested new names.

When naming new buildings, street names, statues or monuments, the council should ensure that they reflect Watford and its history and diversity, it states.

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