Daily Mail

Defiant city that won’t go woke...

People power stops street names with links to Empire being ditched

- By Richard Marsden

STREET names which have fallen foul of woke campaigner­s will be kept because residents do not want them changed.

It comes after experts claimed Sheffield had a series of streets associated with people ‘involved in slavery’ and ‘violent suppressio­n’.

Canning Street was named after George Canning, the former prime minister who campaigned against freeing slaves. Gladstone Road was named after ex-PM William Gladstone. He called slavery – which was outlawed in 1834 – the ‘foulest crime’ in UK history, but in his younger days he supported compensati­on for slave owners.

His father had been one of the British Empire’s biggest slave owners. Peel Street was establishe­d in memory of another ex-PM Sir Robert Peel, founder of the modern-day police, but his father supported slavery, fearing its abolition would harm the cotton trade. Other city streets include Cannon Hall Road, which was named after a stately home whose owner’s brother was involved in slavery. He used the mansion’s name on a slave ship, but the house was later owned by an antislaver­y campaigner.

A report presented to the Race Equality Commission in Sheffield this year claimed there were aspects of the city’s geography that ‘perpetuate racist, outdated and uncomforta­ble messages’.

The report found 100 monuments were all dedicated to white people. And the few depictions of nonwhites in the city ‘are likely to be considered stereotypi­cal and negative’, such as a carved head with a turban. Just one plaque issued under the Sheffield Legends scheme honouring celebritie­s was dedicated to someone with an ethnically diverse background – Olympian Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Residents were asked for their views in a consultati­on but said they did not want to see changes. A city council spokesman said: ‘We acknowledg­e this strong feeling and are not currently intending to change any of the existing street names or remove any statues.’

 ?? ?? Controvers­ial: Ex-PM William Gladstone’s father was a slave owner
Controvers­ial: Ex-PM William Gladstone’s father was a slave owner
 ?? ?? Target for campaigner­s: Gladstone Road in Sheffield
Target for campaigner­s: Gladstone Road in Sheffield

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom