SAFEGUARDING WELSH PLACE NAMES IN DENBIGHSHIRE
Decision Maker: Communities Scrutiny Committee
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Councillor Huw Hilditch-Roberts, Lead Member for Education, Children’s Services and Public Engagement introduced Tim Dillon, Team Leader - Places Team, to the committee. The Lead Member guided members through the report (previously circulated) stating the report presented the duties and role of the authority in safeguarding Welsh and historical place names in the county.
The Team Leader- Places Team provided members with further detail, stating the legal position was to have due regard to the guidance and Welsh heritage and language. It was not a specific duty to have strict Welsh Language naming but to have due regard to this. Members were informed a recent policy in the context of street naming and numbering where the authority demonstrated above the legal requirement. Within the adopted policy it stated any new street named in the authority had to be Welsh Language.
The Chair thanked the Officer and Lead Member for the detailed report. The Lead Member and officer responded to members’ comments, concerns and questions as follows –
· The Team Leader confirmed he would follow up concerns raised by councillors in relation to specific street’s in member’s wards. He requested members to contact him with details for further investigation.
· The owner of a new estate could propose names to the county for approval following the correct process and discussion.
· Praise was given to the authority for the commitment in naming street names in the Welsh language.
· Members raised concerns on the use of the word ‘drive’ on Welsh street names. The word ‘Ffordd’ was used on many street signs. It was suggested by the Team Leader to recommend to Cabinet for the policy to be amended to remove the word drive for the list stated in the policy. The Scrutiny Co-ordinator stated it may be a Lead Member decision as it was only a slight amendment. Clarity on the correct procedure would be sought and adopted.
· Members noted the importance of the heritage behind many Welsh named roads. Local authorities had a duty to take into consideration historic Welsh names and not the literal interpretation.
· The policy stated a street could not be named after an individual alive or deceased. Changing the name of an existing street would be done through the street name changing policy. The Welsh governed policy would be taken for that change to take place.
The Chair brought the debate to a close and highlighted the concern regarding the amendment to the policy raised by members for consideration when formulating their resolutions. After a final discussion on the resolutions the Committee –
Resolved: subject to the above observations –
(a) Confirm that it is satisfied that the Council is fully utilising all powers conferred upon it with regards to safeguarding Welsh and historical names in both the natural and built environment; and
(b) That representations be made to the Cabinet Lead Member seeking him under powers delegated to him as Lead Member to approve the removal of the prefix/suffix ‘Dreif’/’Drive’ from the ‘New Street Names’ list in Section B2 of Denbighshire’s Street Naming and Numbering Policy January 2021.
Publication date: 20/01/2022
Date of decision: 20/01/2022
Decided at meeting: 20/01/2022 - Communities Scrutiny Committee