Streets to be named after war heroes
By James HoreA POTENTIALLY bitter row has been avoided after it was agreed street names on a new housing estate could be named after soldiers killed in the two world wars.
By James Hore
A POTENTIALLY bitter row has been avoided after it was agreed street names on a new housing estate could be named after soldiers killed in the two world wars.
There had been fears the gesture at the development in Witham could have upset families whose relatives were not chosen from the list on the town's war memorial.
The Maltings Lane Estate does not have enough streets to enable all of those on the memorial to be honoured.
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Officers from Braintree District Council warned a random name selection process could upset the families of those who died in the world wars.
But following a meeting between John Brett, Braintree District Council's building control manager, and members of Witham Town Council, the tribute will go-ahead.
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Mr Brett said: “We have agreed with the town council that there are many sensitivities surrounding the fact that there are more names on the memorial than there are streets.
“We were concerned not to make any members of the community unhappy - the town council will pursue it and make arrangements to deal with the sensitivities involved. The last thing we want to do is cause any unhappiness for the families.”
Mr Brett had suggested Witham Town Council should contact all the families involved to obtain permission.
About one-third of the development is under way and agreements have been made to name some of the streets after classical composers - a decision which will remain.
Witham town councillor Phil Barlow said he was pleased with the outcome of the talks with Mr Brett.
“If we can commemorate dead composers, then we should be able to commemorate people who have served for the town and country,” he added.
“We will use sensitivity and use the forces organisations to contact people's families to make sure they are not offended.”
Fellow town councillor Bob Evans said organisers would attempt to contact all those involved and include names of people whose families were in favour and those whom they did not hear from.
About 30 streets will be named after veterans, although a ballot system will have to be used to allocate the names if there is a shortage of families who reply in favour of the idea.
“If we haven't received indication that they don't want to be included, then it would be reasonable to use a ballot system,” said Mr Evans.