Why we’re naming streets after fallen heroes – and other councils should to

February 23, 2013 12:05 pm

In Barking and Dagenham Council we are extremely proud of our local Armed Forces personnel and the amazing job they do on our behalf. It is deeply sad and thought-provoking that individuals with a strong connection to the area have lost their lives during service on behalf of the country. In order to show them and their families how much we respect and appreciate all they did for us, we offer their families the opportunity to name a street after their loved one.

As a council, we have a strong sense of pride that we are able to remember our fallen heroes through naming a street after them. These streets will be permanent reminders to future generations of the ultimate sacrifice which these brave men and women have made for the nation.

The first such instance occurred in February 2011 when Tony Rawson Way was named after Private Tony Rawson, who was killed in Helmand province in Afghanistan, after his patrol came under fire in August 2007. In March 2012 we commissioned Martin Kinggett Gardens in honour of Rifleman Martin Kinggett who was killed in action while on foot patrol in Sangin, Afghanistan, on February 25 2010. Both families were consulted about the process throughout and it was the greatest honour of mine to be able to join these families by ensuring the people of Barking and Dagenham would never forget their names. These individuals are an absolute credit to Barking and Dagenham.

My proudest moment as Leader of the Council came when at the unveiling of Martin Kinggett Gardens, his mother Lisa said:

“I will always know he didn’t die for nothing.”

The decision to name these streets after fallen soldiers has been met with widespread support throughout Barking and Dagenham and to my knowledge not a single person has complained about the policy. Our borough will always stand fast on behalf of our armed forces and the role they play in our community.

While as an individual I did not support the war and was very vocal about my feelings at the time, I do support our armed forces and all they do for us. This is not about your feelings towards the war but is a way of acknowledging all that our armed forces do for us in present and future conflicts.

This Council will continue to support our armed forces and our veterans in any way we can – and we have done this in many ways. The council has also made a commitment to offer a guaranteed interview for available jobs in the Council for former service personnel and we are actively reviewing our housing allocations policy so that veterans and their families can be better served when homes are needed for them. Veterans are also able to access the Council’s leisure services at a discounted price.

I would echo Jim Murphy and Hilary Benn in calling on all councils to follow us in naming streets after soldiers killed in the line of duty and other measures we have implemented.  If Barking and Dagenham can do it, so can others. Our Armed Forces deserve nothing less.

Liam Smith is the Leader of Barking and Dagenham Council

  • jaime taurosangastre candelas

    Well done to you and your Council.

  • TomFairfax

    Would this be the same Liam Smith who mysteriously shot to the top of the waiting list for council houses?
    Would this be the same Liam Smith whose council officers treated enquiries by his own councilors as an attack on the council, merely for doing the job of elected representatives?
    Would this same Liam Smith be trying to distract attention by doing one reasonable thing?

  • TomFairfax

    Would this be the same Liam Smith who mysteriously shot to the top of the waiting list for council houses?
    Would this be the same Liam Smith whose council officers treated enquiries by his own councilors as an attack on the council, merely for doing the job of elected representatives?
    Would this same Liam Smith be trying to distract attention by doing one reasonable thing?

  • MonkeyBot5000

    The idea is great, but LL really should have found a better picture for this article.

    I read the headline about naming roads after soldiers and then looked at the picture and saw a sign for “Private Road”. Is there a “Seargent Street” nearby?

Latest

  • Comment Polling Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    Clacton polling: What does it say for Labour?

    The date for the by-election in Clacton was confirmed this morning as Thursday, October 9th – not only the day after the Lib Dem conference finishes but also David Cameron’s birthday. The two polls so far in the constituency do not point to many happy returns for the Prime Minister, as the result appears to be a foregone conclusion. At the weekend, a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday gave UKIP a 44% lead over the second place Tories. […]

    Read more →
  • Comment Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Does Labour have a problem with black men?

    Now that may seem a strange question for a Party that has both Chuka Umunna and Sadiq Khan in its Shadow Cabinet but something troubling is emerging from the current round of Parliamentary selections. Of the 100 constituencies where Labour hopes to make gains or when Labour MPs have announced their retirement/parliamentary by-elections since 2010 so far just three have selected a BME male candidate. And this is from a section of society which is immensely loyal to the Labour […]

    Read more →
  • Featured Why are you Labour?

    Why are you Labour?

    Why are you a member of the Labour Party? I’d been a member for years when someone first asked me that question. On some level I guess I knew the answer, but no-one at any Constituency Labour Party meeting, canvassing session, conference – or even in the pub  –  had ever outright asked me the question. It was Arnie Graf – an American, rather than someone steeped in the party their whole life – who asked me. It was an obvious […]

    Read more →
  • News Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Eddie Izzard commits to running for “Parliament or Mayor” by 2020

    Comic and actor Eddie Izzard has reaffirmed his longstanding commitment to entering electoral politics by 2020, by going for a Labour parliamentary selection or London Mayor. Izzard is a lifelong Labour supporter (and Londoner) and has spoken in the past of his desire to become London Mayor. However, the recent announcement that Boris Johnson does not intend to stand for a third term has raised the chances of Labour winning the mayoralty in 2016, and thus there being a Labour incumbent in […]

    Read more →
  • News Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Jowell takes on new London-based role before potential mayoral bid

    Tessa Jowell has taken on a new role lecturing at the London School of Economics (LSE), which should give her the time to concentrate on a likely campaign to be Labour’s candidate for London Mayor. Jowell, who is standing down as an MP next year, has started her post as Professor of Practice with the LSE Cities and in the Department of Government part-time. Jowell is currently considered one of the front-runners in the race for Labour’s candidacy, but all […]

    Read more →