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Controversy over renaming historic road after Queen Elizabeth

The historic Corn Exchange Road in Stirling, Scotland, is under consideration to be renamed in honour of Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday in a few months time.

Conservatives on Stirling Council, Neil Benny and Martin Earl, have called to rename the road that is home to the Municipal Buildings and Central Library – Queen Elizabeth Road.

Rival politicians are not happy with the idea and some have even held a protest at the council’s Viewforth headquarters when a motion was brought before the full council.

The motion reads: “In recognition and celebration of the 90th birthday of our sovereign and Freeman of our City, Queen Elizabeth, Council resolves the following: to have the portrait of Her Majesty displayed prominently in the main Council Chamber of Stirling Council; to rename the street currently known as Corn Exchange Road as Queen Elizabeth Road in honour of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday and in recognition of her services as our country’s longest-serving monarch; and to erect new street signs in the new Queen Elizabeth Road, using, if necessary, funds from the civic budget, and to amend the council’s local street gazetteers appropriately. Such details to be undertaken in consultation with the Civic Committee. To send the heartfelt best wishes of the Council and the people of Stirling to Her Majesty in this her 90th year.”

Scotland’s Left Alliance, RISE, has called the motion “outdated gesture politics and a blatant attempt to distract from the savage Labour/Tory administration budget cuts”.

RISE list candidate, Bryan Quinn for Mid-Scotland and Fife, said: “I find it shocking that at a time when Stirling Council’s Labour-Tory coalition are announcing massive cuts to services and job losses, that some in the council are more concerned with naming streets after our unelected monarch.

“We are more interested in democratically elected leaders opposed to these cuts in our council budgets. RISE would scrap the Council Tax and replace it with a progressive income-based tax to protect the poorest in our society and make the richest including our monarch pay their share.”

SNP Councillor Alycia Hayes felt that there was no way a huge historic change would be allowed, saying: “The SNP group in Stirling Council could not possibly support a motion that would sweep away the huge historical significance of Corn Exchange Road to the city.”

Steven Paterson, Stirling SNP MP added: “This is the daftest thing I’ve seen brought to the council for debate since Tory and Labour councillors suggested scrapping the Saltire flag a few years ago. They should abandon this silly scheme and get on with the job of running local services.”

Councillor Benny who called for the road being renamed stood strong on his decision: “We will not be afraid to express our belief in Britain, marking the service our Queen has given our country. I hope councillors can support this proposal and will not allow themselves to be browbeaten by fringe extreme left-wing groups who will use any excuse to create grievance.

“There is virtually no cost to this proposal and we feel Stirling Council can note the service of our monarch at the same time as regenerating our communities, attracting jobs and investment and pursuing reform to make our council more efficient.

“Stirling’s history has precedent for this as Quality Street was renamed King Street in honour of King George IV. We feel that this would be a fitting tribute to our longest-serving monarch and would cause little disruption as there are no residential properties there. The Queen is a unifying figure and I hope that our proposal gets support from all councillors.”

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