Last week Cllr Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council made the commitment, alongside the Leaders of a large number of other Labour Councils, to listen to and work with local communities to review the appropriateness of local monuments and statues on public land. We have extended this review to include all commemorations on public land including monuments, statues, plaques, street names and the names of public buildings.
An initial desktop review of monuments and statues within Chesterfield Borough has now been completed. The review has found all of these commemorations to have local historical connections with in particular the mining industry, early mining trade unionism and railway engineering. There are also a number of first and second world war memorials.
Councillor Tricia Gilby, Leader of Chesterfield Borough Council, said: “The monuments and statues we have identified are a valuable part of our heritage and commemorate individuals, organisations and historical events which have helped to shape our great borough. They have formed a valuable part of our townscape for many years and will continue to do so.”
The council has received a number of representations about street names and has started to look at this. This is a more challenging task as there are many street names in the borough. Research is needed to identify why particular names were chosen and their historical context. Following this review, if any street names require further consideration the Public Health Act 1925 includes provisions for street naming and street re-naming. However, there is a lengthy and detailed legal process to complete.
A key part of the process includes consultation with residents and businesses on the street or road. Any street name change would affect residents and businesses in lots of different ways where a property address is used. A number of statutory bodies would also need to be consulted including the Highways Authority, Derbyshire County Council.
Key information including the consultation responses would then need to be considered by Chesterfield Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Growth for a decision to be taken on any change to a particular street name. Residents have a right of appeal to the Magistrates Court.
Councillor Gilby, continued: “The review of existing commemorations will continue over the next few months. The council is confident that it has identified and formed the right view on the borough’s monuments and statues, but please let us know about any monuments, statues, plaques or street names you would like the review to consider. Please contact us as firstname.lastname@example.org with the e-mail title Commemorations Review.
“A really important and exciting part of the review is the opportunity to ask the public who is currently missing from our commemorations. The council is developing plans to launch this activity later this year and we are looking forward to working together to ensure future commemorations provide great opportunities for education and celebrate the history of Chesterfield borough and our diverse communities.”