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 How not to change the constitution

    How not to change the constitution

    In this Parliament AV was rejected, Lords reform stumbled and even the Tories attempt to ‘equalise’ constituencies fell. ‘The Implications of Devolution for England’ already looks unhealthily like these other failed constitutional reforms. Nonetheless, the issue holds real dangers for Labour. Hague’s partisan and divisive Commons statement showed the Tories’ more concerned to maximise difference than to bring people together for the good of England. Yet even this couldn’t disguise Conservative divisions. In three months his Cabinet Committee failed to […]

    Read more →
  • News “Our choice is the country’s choice” – Lisa Nandy’s LabourList Christmas Lecture

    “Our choice is the country’s choice” – Lisa Nandy’s LabourList Christmas Lecture

    On Monday evening Lisa Nandy MP gave the LabourList Christmas Lecture to launch her pamphlet “Our Labour Our Communities” – you can download the pamphlet here. Here’s the text of that lecture: We’ve got five months to go until the most important General Election in a generation. And over the last year, as I’ve spent time with Labour candidates meeting and listening to people in communities as diverse as Brighton, Norwich and Calder Valley it seems to me the overwhelming […]

    Read more →
  • News Polling New Ashcroft polls shows the point where the Labour gains stop coming

    New Ashcroft polls shows the point where the Labour gains stop coming

    The latest batch of marginals polling carried out by Lord Ashcroft has been published today, and it does not bring many glad tidings for Labour. The polling covers four Labour seats: Dudley North, Great Grimsby, Plymouth Moor View and Rother Valley; eight Conservative seats: Carmarthen West & South Pembrokeshire, Ealing Central & Acton, Elmet & Rothwell, Harrow East, Pendle, South Swindon, Stevenage, and Warwick & Leamington; and one Green Party seat: Brighton Pavilion. All of the Conservative held seats, bar Warwick & […]

    Read more →
  • News Ipsos-Mori poll puts Tories 3 points ahead – and Labour’s voteshare remains at 2010 level

    Ipsos-Mori poll puts Tories 3 points ahead – and Labour’s voteshare remains at 2010 level

    Yesterday there was some relatively good polling new for Labour, with a 5 point lead over the Tories with ICM. Today the polling news is bad, with the Tories 3 points ahead of Labour with Ipsos-Mori, and Labour’s vote looking squeezed by both the Green and the SNP: In reality these recent polls suggest that the two parties are very close together – effectively tied in the low thirties. However what’s particularly troubling for Labour from this Ipsos-Mori poll is […]

    Read more →
  • News Polling Labour could benefit from Green tactical voting, poll suggests

    Labour could benefit from Green tactical voting, poll suggests

    A YouGov poll for The Times Red Box has found that Labour could do well from tactical Green voting next May. The poll asked 4,335 respondents which party they would most like to win in their constituency, and also which party they think they will end up voting for. A third of those people said they would like the Greens to win in their area said that they’d most likely vote Labour next year. This doesn’t necessarily mean that these […]

    Read more →