Barking and Dagenham war heroes road naming campaign praised
- Credit: Archant
The naming of streets after war heroes could be rolled out across the country to build on a successful campaign launched several years ago in Barking and Dagenham.
Labour MPs Jim Murphy and Hilary Benn and are urging councils to follow Barking and Dagenham’s lead in naming streets after service personnel who have died in active duty.
The council has streets named after Pte Tony Rawson who was killed in Afghanistan in 2007 and Martin Kinggett, a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan in 2010. A third street is to be dedicated in the same way.
Each time the council consulted with bereaved families before deciding on the street name and offered them a role during the street naming ceremony.
Cllr Liam Smith, Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council, said: “We are very proud as a council to be able to remember our fallen soldiers in the way of naming a street after them. These streets will be permanent reminders to future generations of the ultimate sacrifice which these brave soldiers made for our country.
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“These individuals are an absolute credit to Barking and Dagenham.”
The street naming campaign would involve the naming of new roads on developments as well as re-naming existing streets. Residents in the streets involved would also be consulted before the name was changed, under the scheme.
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In a letter to all councils, shadow defence secretary Mr Murphy and shadow communities and local government secretary Hilary Benn urged local authorities to adopt the policy.
Mr Murphy said: “Those who have been lost will always be remembered and loved by their families.
“Street naming will be a chance for their names to live publicly and forever.”
Mr Benn added: “Barking and Dagenham council have found a visible and enduring way for their local community to honour the memory of residents that have fallen in the brave service of our nation.
“Naming streets is one of the many ways that local authorities can support our service community and pay tribute to those that have made the greatest sacrifice.”
Barking and Dagenham council also offers a guaranteed interview for available jobs in the council for former service personnel. An amendment has been made to its housing allocations policy, so that veterans and their families can be better served when homes are needed. Veterans are also able to access the council’s leisure services at a discounted price.
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