Sadiq Khan announces grants to decolonise street names
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The Mayor of London’s new attempt to “decolonise” the capital will see £25,000 grants for Londoners who want to change the name of their road. Sadiq Khan has unveiled grants to help change offensive street names in a scheme intended to ‘decolonise’ and ‘diversify’ British road names. Leader of Reform UK Richard Tice told talkRADIO’s Mike Graham that the grants were the wrong approach to take.
He complained that Sadiq Khan was launching a £1m Black Lives Matter-inspired campaign, while “making life much much harder and more expensive for decent working people”.
Mr Tice explained: “Sadiq Khan is trying to get rid of perfectly fine street names that have been there for decades.
“There might be some isolated examples. But it’s like the statues. He has this expensive commission to get rid of some statues.
“You just think, why? Let’s celebrate great, new achievers. Get new statues. But you don’t need to get rid of old statues.”
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Mr Tice continued: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. They are there to learn from.”
Mr Graham branded the new fund “madness”.
Mr Tice continued: “It’s the same Sadiq Khan who is trying to make life much much harder and more expensive for decent tradesfolk trying to get to work.
“They are paying a fortune if their vehicle is too old.
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“It is the same Mayor of London, of course, who is responsible for these low traffic neighbourhood schemes which are incredibly disruptive to many communities.
“They are causing absolute chaos. Some people won’t even deliver to certain streets because they can’t get in and out of them!”
Mr Khan said the new street name scheme was part of a £1million Untold Stories fund available to community groups.
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The Untold Stories fund is part of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm, which was established following the Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year.
The Commission was set up to diversify artwork and statuary that came under scrutiny for commemorating figures linked to Britain’s history of empire and slavery.
Mr Khan said: “London’s diversity is its greatest strength but for far too long our capital’s statues, street names and buildings have only shown a limited perspective on our city’s complex history.
“I’m determined to do everything I can to ensure our public realm presents a more complete picture of everyone who has made London the incredible city it is today.”
The Mayor of London stressed the purpose of the Commission for Diversity in the Public Realm was not to remove statues, only to “raise public understanding”.
Street names linked to the slave trade include Milligan Street in Tower Hamlets, named for slave trader Robert Milligan, whose nearby statue was removed from its plinth last year.
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