Streets named after Edward Colston in Bristol won't be changed, says council

The Colston statue was toppled during a Black Lives Matter protest in 2020.

Streets named after Edward Colston in Bristol will not be changed, according to the council.

Bristol City Council said streets named after the former slave trader will only change if the move is supported by all property owners on the road.

Since the toppling of Colston's statue in June 2020, there have been calls to remove his name from Bristol's pubs, schools and streets.

But in response to a recent Freedom of Information request put to Bristol City Council, the authority said changes to street names cannot happen without "overwhelming support" from property owners.

Also, those who do give consent would have to front the administrative costs to change legal documents associated with the changes.

A spokesperson for Bristol City Council said: "We require that all property owners on a given street provide their consent for its name to be changed.

"As such a move incurs administrative costs for those individuals/businesses to change legal documents etc. We have no plans to change this position.

"We would therefore need to see overwhelming support from property owners on a given road in order to consider contacting all of them to confirm their unanimous consent to begin the process of changing their street's name. This has not happened for any of the roads that the [FOI] request mentioned."

Calls to remove Colston's name and image from streets and institutions are not new and predate the Black Lives Matter rally in 2020.

Colston School changed its name to Collegiate School last year.

Prior to that global event, the campaign was mainly headed up by the Countering Colston group.

While it seems unlikely that any roads named after the former slave trader will be changed anytime soon, a number of buildings and schools have made the change.

Colston Arms in Kingsdown changed its name, first to 'Ye Olde Pubby Mcdrunkface'. Then in 2022, it changed permanently to the Open Arms. Colston School has changed its name to Collegiate School.

While it is currently closed for a revamp, Colston Hall has also changed to Bristol Beacon. Colston Tower is now known as Beacon Tower.