Barking & Dagenham praised for street name initiative
Members of Labour's shadow cabinet have praised Barking and Dagenham Council for a scheme which involves naming new roads after service men and women killed in action.
“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.”
– Hilary Benn MP, Labour’s Shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary
“This is a way for local people to show their solidarityand sympathy. A lasting personal memorial would demonstrate the value we placeon individuals who have served but been lost in the defence of our country.
"Those who have been lost will always be rememberedand loved by their families. Street naming will be a chance for their names tolive publicly and forever."
– Jim Murphy MP, Labour’s Shadow Defence Secretary
We are writing with a proposal for commemoration of fallen members of the Armed Forces, which would enable communities to show sensitive and meaningful respect to those who lose their lives in service of their nation.
We would like to suggest that you consider a policy of offering families of fallen service personnel from your area a chance to have a street or road named after their loved one.
Such lasting recognition, if this were the wishes of the family, could be a poignant way of demonstrating the community’s admiration for those who serve and the value the whole country places on their courage and patriotism.
This idea is based on the practice of Barking and Dagenham Council, who have had two streets named after individuals who have died in the line of duty and a third is soon to be named in this way.
On each occasion, Barking and Dagenham consult bereaved families and also offer the chance to have an opening ceremony, to which community members, service charities and members of the military are invited.
We are not writing with a prescriptive proposal, but rather to articulate our strong belief that such an approach, if reflective of the wishes of service families, would be an important step for all Local Authorities to take to highlight the value we place on those who serve.
We very much hope this is something you will consider....
....A lot continues to be asked of our Forces overseas.
Changing a community’s physical environment to reflect the personal and individual sacrifices made for our national security could be a significant sign of our enduring respect for service men and women and their families.
Rt Hon Jim Murphy MP Rt Hon Hilary Benn MP
Shadow Defence Secretary Shadow Communities & Local Government Secretary
Labour: street names provide 'lasting and respectful way' of remembering service personnel
The Labour Party says that naming streets after service personnel killed in the line of duty would provide "a meaningful, lasting and respectful way to show the value we place on those who have served and been lost."
MPs Jim Murphy and Hilary Benn are writing to all of the local authorities in the country, to encourage them to adopt the Barking and Dagenham scheme.
They are suggesting the following process:
• The families of fallen personnel who lived in the Local Authority Area are be asked whether they would like a road or street named in memory of their loved one.
• In consultation with the family, the location and precise name of a road or street is decided on. Local residents in the street are also be consulted.
• The Council offers to organise an official opening ceremony of the street or road, to which other members of the local community, family and friends as well as service charities could be invited.
“I’m so proud that to have this new street named after Tony. It would have made him so happy. His friends are absolutely delighted as well. It’s so nice for them to have something permanent in Dagenham to remember him by.”
Private Tony Rawson, who died in Afghanistan in 2007, is one of those who has had a street named after him in Barking and Dagenham.
He was killed, aged 27, in a firefight with the Taliban while on patrol in Helmand Province.
At the time of his death, colleagues paid tribute to him as a friendly, passionate and highly respected member of the 1st Battalion The Royal Anglian Regiment.
Captain Dave Hicks, Second-In-Command of C (Essex) Company, said:
"Private Rawson epitomised not only the core values of the British Army, but also embodied the spirit of the British Infantry. Selfless, good-natured even in the face of adversity, and courageous under fire, he will be sorely missed by all his comrades within C (Essex) Company."
Lance Corporal Ben Lake, 11 Platoon, C (Essex) Company, said:
"Tony was the friendliest bloke you could ever meet, hence the nickname ‘Nicey’. If there was ever a problem, he was the first to offer his helping hand. If someone was feeling down he would go out of his way to help.
"He was a cracking soldier and an even better friend. He will be sorely missed by the whole of 11 Platoon and no doubt, the rest of the Battalion."
Barking and Dagenham Council says it plans to name a third street after a local serviceman or woman who has died on active duty, after naming two other streets in this way.
On each occasion the council has 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. These individuals are an absolute credit to Barking and Dagenham.”
The minimum wage - which is the equivalent of £16,425 per annum - will apply to all permanent Barking and Dagenham Council staff and agency staff working on council assignments.
Council leaders say it reflects what people need to live on in London - and have called on other local authorities to follow suit.
Council Leader, Cllr Liam Smith said: “We have over 1,500 low paid workers and this decision impacts on those who need it most like cleaners, catering staff and teaching assistants - majority of whom are local residents.
“As a Council, we are committed to ensuring our lowest paid employees receive help in tough times, ensuring they are treated fairly in pay – a decision which supports our ambition to increase average household incomes across the borough.
"This will mean a better life for hundreds of workers and their families."
A London Council has announced plans to pay a minimum wage of nine pounds an hour to all its employees.
Barking and Dagenham says that it's the first local authority in the whole of the UK to guarantee that level of wage - nearly three pounds more than the national minimum wage (which is £6.19 for adults over the age of 21) and 45 pence more than the so-called living wage (which stands at £8.55 in London).