Brit minister proposes to have David Beckham Park and JK Rowling library

December 22nd, 2008 - 2:49 pm ICT by ANI  

David Beckham

London, Dec 22 (ANI): David Beckham park, Edinburgh’’s library named after JK Rowling and streets named after British Olympic medal winnersthese are just some of the recommendations proposed by a minister who wants streets, parks and local amenities to be named after contemporary celebrities.

The New Local Government Network, headed by Chris Leslie, a think-tank regarded as close to the Prime Minister, has drawn up a street-naming proposal.

According to its report, the naming of streets after historic figures like Shakespeare and Nelson had helped forge British identity, but now its time to recognise more contemporary icons.

It recommended that Birmingham commemorate J.R.R. Tolkien and that London recognise Twiggy and David Bowie.

It also urges London Mayor Boris Johnson to pledge that every Briton, who wins more than two medals at the 2012 Olympics, has a street in the capital named after them.

It said that war heroes and community workers should also be recognised.

Local Government Minister John Healey will call on councils to introduce the new naming policy. He thinks that it is “great for local democracy and local pride”.

But apparently his plans may raise a fresh controversy amid growing fears over the spread of Britain’’s celebrity culture.

“I think it’’s great for local democracy and local pride if people can name their public spaces after the people who are important to them. They may choose national icons. But they may also choose their community’’s unsung heroes; those who serve others and win the respect and admiration of the people around them, the Telegraph quoted Healey as saying.

He added that he would particularly like to see recognition for the people who helped in the flood effort last summer.

“Over the past year, I”ve dealt with the aftermath of last summer’’s floods. I”ve seen many ordinary people doing extraordinary things to help their neighbours and get their communities back on their feet. These are just the sort of unsung heroes that local people could honour in this way, he said.

However, his plans are expected to meet with a mixed response from local councils.

Already a number of councils have sought to name streets after local celebrities - the Mayor of Mansfield has pledged to name a street and the local swimming pool after double-Olympic medal winner Rebecca Adlington.

However, there are others who have rejected calls to honour local heroesSoutham Town Council recently refused to name a road after Private Jeff Doherty, a local soldier who died in Afghanistan earlier this year. The council said it did not name roads after individuals. (ANI)

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