Thursday, 27 May 2010

Tories oppose naming Plymouth street after Michael Foot as "overtly political"

A growing row over whether a road in Plymouth should be named after Michael Foot was flagged up to me by a couple of people on Twitter yesterday.

There seems to have been some debate about whether or not the former Labour leader could be classed as "local" to the city he served as MP, and was of course one of the most famous Argyle fans.

This is from today's Western Morning News:

A row has broken out over whether a Plymouth street should be named after former Labour party leader and city MP Michael Foot.

Mr Foot, who died aged 96 in March, was MP for Devonport from 1945 to 1955 and fought for cash to rebuild the city which was blitzed during the Second World War.

Labour councillor Nicky Wildy said she wanted part of a new development in Devonport to be named after Mr Foot.

But Conservative cabinet member Ian Bowyer said it was “overtly political”.

Ms Wildy said: “To describe our suggestion as political is an insult. I don’t think it is about politics at all. It is about Michael Foot.

“He is better known locally for supporting Plymouth Argyle than as an MP. I don’t see why we can’t name a street after him.”

Mr Bowyer said he had nothing personal against Mr Foot.

He said: “In the current climate, with unease about politicians, I believe it is not the right time. However illustrious the name, it is overtly political. It could have been Winston Churchill as far as I was concerned.”

No plans for the development proposed for the Mount Wise area have yet been submitted to the city council.

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