Western Morning News

Judge confirms square’s name

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A JUDGE has dismissed the appeal by a Plymouth businessma­n against a decision by the city council to rename Sir John Hawkins Square after black footballer Jack Leslie.

The council announced in June that the square alongside the magistrate­s court, which had been named in the 1980s after the Elizabetha­n adventurer, naval commander and slave trader, would be renamed after the Plymouth Argyle player.

Mr Bamping claimed in his appeal that the council failed to comply with the law and its policies during the process. He argued the decision was racist, failed to properly consider the history of Sir John Hawkins, and was a “knee-jerk” reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement following the death in police custody of George Floyd in the United States in May. He also argued the square was the wrong place to honour the footballer, as there was a better alternativ­e near Argyle’s stadium.

The council, represente­d by barrister Charlotte Davies, opposed the appeal, arguing it had fully complied with the law and its policies, and had justified and explained the decision.

District Judge Jo Matson rejected all Mr Bamping’s arguments and said he had failed to prove the council’s decision was wrong.

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