Published: 27 April, 2012
• HAVING recently returned from France, I have only learnt that Islington Council approved the name change of Islington Green without a dissenting voice. It’s surprising that the council agreed this without first consulting a wide range of residents.
I note that several specially distinguished Islingtonians are among those quite strongly opposed to the change, for a variety of reasons with which, added to my own practical one given below, I strongly agree.
I am against place name changes in general, because they obscure the history of the place; besides which they have extremely expensive side-effects.
They require name changes to all street signs, maps, directories, tourist guides and even satnav.
Since the old names don’t disappear when the new ones appear, confusion of geographical information is widespread.
Have those who support the name change considered these consequences?
This objection does not apply to blue and also brown plaques attached to famous people’s previous residences.
Islington could well include such historically noteworthy residents as Tom Paine and Lenin.
It now seems fashionable to celebrate anniversaries of occasions such as the sinking of the Titanic.
We could be drowned in historical reminders if these were repeated on their 50th, 100th and 500th anniversaries.
And why stick so frequently to commemorating important military people and battles?
Why not choose, for example, the first meeting of the United Nations (in Westminster) or of the Suffragettes winning the vote?
Highbury Hill, N5
• COUNCIL leader Catherine West has confirmed that the council is to proceed with the renaming of historic Islington Green, allegedly requested by Islington Veterans’ Association (Veteran peace campaigner and MP lead opposition to renaming Green, April 13).
It seems no public consultation will be held.
A disappointing response from the leader of an executive that claims “we’re on the side of residents” – the only people not to be consulted on the change.
The move may have been unanimously supported by all councillors of both political parties but that does no more than stamp it as a political decision.
Who knows if, or how many, elected members backed it out of political cowardice, afraid to be seen
as on the ‘wrong’ side?
Allowing sentiment to trump critical faculties, particularly in the matter of war and the military is, as someone commented, not uncommon.
It is, however, politically dangerous.
Democracy’s a messy business but the least it must involve is the widest possible public participation and debate. Rewriting history has no part to play.
Ellington Street, N7
• I AM complaining about the renaming of Islington Green.
This is for reasons of history, but also because there was absolutely no public consultation about the change.
If Islington Council is now adopting a policy of allowing residents to suggest name changes for local green spaces I would like to nominate Newington Green be renamed Wollstonecraft Green.
Maybe we should start a campaign.
Mildmay Road, N1