Watford's council will debate whether to change street names in the town that contain "negative history" this evening.

Leggatts Ward councillor Asif Khan has put forward a motion to Watford Borough Council for roads to be renamed that "are named after people who were involved in the slave trade, colonisation and oppression".

In the motion - which will be considered at a full council meeting tonight - Cllr Khan said that street names, buildings, statues and monuments should "reflect our town and that they do not contain any of the negative history which this town abhors".

Roads that have been listed to be changed in the motion include Rhodes Way, Clive Way, Colonial Way and Imperial Way.

Harrow Times:

Cllr Khan said the street names "does not reflect the forward thinking, outward looking Britain and our town".

The motion comes following the Black Lives Matter movement, which Cllr Khan says has "rightly focussed on the serious concerns of symbols of oppression and slavery".

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He said in the motion: "Watford has a rich, diverse and positive history which must be celebrated.

"The council notes that it is not tenable to continue to have these existing names for these streets.

"Watford has been enriched by its ethnic minority citizens that have come from right across the world or born in UK.

"The likes of Luther Blissett, Anthony Joshua, John Barnes are but a few, who have made contributions to our town, but there are many more."

The points made in the motion by Cllr Khan include:

  • Rename street names such Rhodes Way, Clive Way, Colonial Way and Imperial Way.
  • Consult with the Royal Mail, local businesses and residents to ensure that their views are considered.
  • A task and finish group is set up to report back with suggested names to replace these street names.
  • When naming new buildings, street names, statues or monuments that the council ensure that they reflect our town and its history and diversity.

The full council meeting will start at 7.30pm on Tuesday (July 14) and will be available to watch virtually. For more information click here.