Fury as council bans Marston Moretaine tradition of naming roads after fallen war heroes

Marston Moretaine war memorial. Picture: Google MapsMarston Moretaine war memorial. Picture: Google Maps
Marston Moretaine war memorial. Picture: Google Maps
Parish council says it is "incensed"

A parish council in Bedfordshire is furious at a threat to its continued use of war heroes’ surnames for new roads in the village, a meeting heard.

Marston Moretaine Parish Council has been naming new streets after the World War One soldiers listed on the village war memorial, Central Bedfordshire Council was told.

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Naming roads after “fallen World War One soldiers” has been adopted by the parish council since 2015, according to Conservative Cranfield and Marston Moretaine councillor Sue Clark.

“The parish is incensed that it’s been told that this local authority is no longer accepting names of people, alive or dead, as street names. Central Bedfordshire Council’s guidance was changed to include this in August, without any consultation.

“Portfolio holder, do you support this decision, which means communities cannot honour their dead in this way?”

Independent Toddington councillor Mary Walsh replied: “There’s quite a long answer to that question.

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“It involves an incidence of an issue with a road containing a name with connotations, which hadn’t been realised at the time that it was allocated.

“So there’s been some investigation into whether all the people in that street would want their road to have the name changed. I’m not sure how that’s gone so far, but I’d imagine that’s one of the reasons why that’s moved forward.

“I can’t give you any more information, as it’s not something which has been passed to me. I’ll find out for you and come back to you.”

Councillor Clark added: “I don’t need you to find out because I’ve done the work myself.

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“This isn’t about renaming a street. It’s about using names from the war memorial, which has been in the public domain for 100 years.

“Names such as Goodman and Chapman, traditional English surnames, which have no connotations for anyone or anything.

“So please can you confirm that you’ll support Marston Moretaine Parish Council and agree it can continue to honour its war dead in this way? It honestly seems so harmless.”

CBC’s executive member for planning and waste councillor Walsh said: “I’ll look to find out more about that. And, if that’s the case, I’d certainly try and promote that they would be used.”