Sudbury council’s bid to make amends for street name mix-up

Well known Sudbury teacher and artist Paul Earee in his garden- a photo taken by an American airman

Well known Sudbury teacher and artist Paul Earee in his garden- a photo taken by an American airman stationed on the airfield at Chilton during the War who had become a friend of Paul's. - Credit: Archant

When councillors in Sudbury opted to pay homage to renowned local artist Paul Earee by naming a road after him, they had no idea they would subsequently have to assign his name to a second street.

That is because despite Mr Earee being considered the finest artist to be born in the town since Thomas Gainsborough, when it came to creating a road sign bearing his handle it was misspelt and instead pays tribute to ‘Paul Airey’.

The error was made in the council minutes before the recommendation was passed to Babergh District Council, which is responsible for naming and numbering all streets and buildings in the area.

Jodie Budd, customer service officer at the town council, has been investigating the mix-up and asked for the original road name – which is off Newton Road close to where the artist lived – to be changed to the correct spelling, but without success. So now town councillors are eager to make amends for the mix-up by naming another street in the new Harp Close Meadow development ‘Paul Earee Close’ – with the right spelling.

Mrs Budd said: “Paul Earee was a well-known local teacher and artist and we have some of his work in the Town Hall.

“We opted to use his full name for the original road, which was near to where he lived, because we didn’t think anyone would want to live in ‘Earee Mews’ so it’s ironic that it’s ended up with a completely different name.

“We originally approached Babergh in 2009 to get the road registered but because of a delay with the developers, the sign didn’t get put up until 2014 and the mistake was only noticed in February this year.

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“Once it was pointed out, we asked the eight residents of the new road if we could get the error amended but most refused to change their address.

“We have pursued it to the point where we have to accept that it cannot be changed from Airey to Earee. His family has admitted defeat but would like him remembered correctly somewhere in the town.”

According to Gary Starling, corporate manager for building control at Babergh, after the painter’s name was suggested the district council asked for clarification on the spelling from the town council, but the error was missed.

He added: “We are now trying to work with residents, the town council and the family to come up with a suitable answer. We know the family weren’t very pleased about it and we take that fully on board.

“It was a genuine mistake by Sudbury Town Council.”

At a meeting this week where the town council discussed options for naming the two new roads in Harp Close Meadow development, off Waldingfield Road, some members expressed concern that the two such similarly named streets could lead to confusion when it came to mail delivery.

The area is known locally as People’s Park so in addition to Paul Earee Close, it was suggested that a street should be called ‘People’s Park Road’. However, this idea has also been knocked back by the district authority.

Mrs Budd added: “Babergh’s street naming and numbering authority states that names should not end in an ‘s’ because it could be considered a possessive or plural street name. It isn’t even to do with the apostrophe – it’s any name ending in ‘s’ so our only option is to have ‘People Park Road’ instead.”