Earlier this month the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities launched a consultation on the process of changing street names.
They are considering whether it should always come to a vote on the street before the name is changed. The aim behind this is to improve local democracy, ensure residents have a say and prevent local authorities from changing street names on a whim.
Street names are often a key part of an area's history, some residents want to maintain this history as it should not be forgotten (even if it harks back to contentious times like slavery or wars) others wish to remove it for something new. We all know that there's also a few more 'embarrassing' street names about, loved or loathed. Shitterton is of course one of the most famous "interesting" place names in Dorset!
However changing the name of a street can mean a very practical impact on residents and businesses, from post and the need to update addresses with all key institutions to credit checks and official documents. It can also make finding your home trickier - particularly if sat navs have not been updated in the day and age of home pick up and delivery. For businesses having an established location is often important for marketing.
The current system relies on thee Acts which date from the early 20th Century and create inconsistent procedures for changing names, whilst most councils do consult with residents, some areas have seen it 'disapplied' when a street name has made a new story.
So have your say, do you think all street name changes should go to a vote? Do you think street names should be changed at all? Or should it be left in the hands of the local council.
The consultation is open until 22nd May