Former mayor hits out at street name plan

A TWO-TIME mayor of Royston has slammed plans to name streets on a new development after prolific public servants.

Rod Kennedy, who served the town in 2001-2 and 2008-9, is opposed to the names of former councillors being used on any street.

Royston Town Council last week suggested naming four roads on the new Ivy Farm development after former mayors.

The vice-chairman of the Heathfield Residents Association said: “I think it’s inappropriate for a major development to have the names they have selected.

“You have to put it in context, they’re going to be very expensive houses.

“I’m against any ex-councillor’s name being used and I have written to the council on that matter.”

Members of the council’s general purpose and highways committee voted to commemorate Bill Prime, Charles Lander, Peter Lill, and Leo Doyle on the estate – with the roads named Peter Lill Way, Bill Prime Grove, Charles Lander Avenue and Leo Doyle Close.

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But despite the 68-year-old having known a number of the mayors personally, he thinks the names of public servants should never be used.

“I knew many of them but I think you feel the street names need a little bit more je ne sais quois – a bit more panache.”

Mr Kennedy would prefer the roads to be named after butterflies that can be found on nearby Therfield Heath.

But Councillor Mike Harrison has defended the council’s suggestion, and says it was born out of objection to the developer’s choices – which were in Latin.

The chairman of general purposes and highways committee said: “The names put forward by the builders were all Latin names.

“Who knows Latin? I don’t – the Roman Catholic Church doesn’t use Latin – it’s a dead language.”

“99.99 per cent of people don’t know Latin, I don’t know anyone who does.

“It all came up on Monday last week and we were given four names and we didn’t like them.

“We had to come up very quickly with four names.”

Redrow Homes, the developer, said the council has not been in contact, and as the consultation period has not ended, it could not comment.

A spokesman for North Herts District Council, which is running a consultation on the names, said: “Our officers use the consultation as guidance.

“If they feel a proposed name is inappropriate they can refer the decision to the local area committee so it can be voted on by elected members.”