Decision details

Street naming for the fallen in combat - Guardsman James Hill

Decision Maker: Leader of the Council

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Is Key decision?: No

Is subject to call in?: No


The legislative position for street naming and numbering is primarily regulated through Schedule 14 of the Local Government Act 1972 which confirms that the provisions of the Public Health Acts (PHA) 1875 to 1925 apply throughout England and Wales, subject to specified exceptions. 

A road (street) is any thoroughfare, route, or way on land between two places that has been paved or otherwise improved to allow travel by foot or some form of conveyance, including a motor vehicle, cart, bicycle, or horse.  The Road Traffic Act 1988, section 192(1) definesa ‘road’ as any highway to which the public has access.

Where the statute does not prescribe operational direction the Council has adopted the street naming and numbering policy.  The policy currently states: “The Council will only name a street or premise if the person has been deceased for more than 70 years. Consideration will be given to the possible sensitivities that may arise from naming streets or premises after public figures, and to the possibility that the public perception of a deceased person may change in the future. The individual must also have a significant and demonstrable connection to the site in question. Surnames only will be used as opposed to a person full name to avoid confusion in times of emergency.”

2019 is the 10th anniversary of the loss of Guardsman James Hill, former resident of the Borough, killed in the Afghanistan conflict on 8th October 2009.  The Council wishes to pay tribute through the naming of a road within Redhill in honour of the Guardsman.  The street naming policy is silent on the recognition of the loss of a member of our community in recent combat activity representing the country. In due course it is proposed to suggest amendments to the policy to accommodate for this type of recognition to be supported.  

There are currently no schemes under construction in the ward where Guardsman James Hill lived which require a street name, thus it was decided to look at naming an unnamed road or path within Redstone cemetery, as officers and the public alike are in need of improved navigation within the cemetery.  This proposal would also ensure permanency of any tribute, unlike some alternative options (e.g. building name, landscaping). 

The proposal being made is that an exemption to the current policy is approved to allow for Guardsman Hill to be forever remembered.

 The current policy references the need for the named person to have a significant and demonstrable link to the site in question.  The Guardsman lived in the vicinity of the cemetery so the commemoration would be a fitting memory for local people and visitors to the cemetery to recognise the ultimate sacrifice Guardsman Hill gave to his country to protect our future.

The cost of the manufacture and installation of the street name plate (to Borough specification) will vary depending on a number of factors these primarily being whether the street name plate is procured as part of a bulk order (alongside other standard plates being replaced across the Borough; or a single one-off order placed.

To ensure that the authority achieve good value for money the order for this sign will form part of a bulk order and it is estimated that the cost will be approximately £250 (inclusive of installation). 

The Greenspaces Team have identified the funding for the purchase and installation of the name plate including any future maintenance costs.

It has been proposed to complete the work for naming of the road and installation of the associated plate within Redstone cemetery in February/March 2019.

The deceased’s parents have confirmed that they give their permission to proceed with this street naming proposal as Guardsman Hill Drive. Once the Strong Leader consideration has been completed it would allow for the consultation to be undertaken with both the relevant ward members and Royal Mail.  Once these steps have been completed the street name would then be authorised under delegated authority.


That an exemption be made to the street naming and numbering policy to allow for the naming of a road in Redhill cemetery after former resident Guardsman James Hill in order that the 10th anniversary of his loss in combat in the Afghanistan conflict can be honoured early in 2019.

Reasons for the decision:

To provide an exemption to the current street naming and numbering policy so that the Council can recognise the sacrifice made by Guardsman Hill in losing his life fighting for the country’s future safety by the naming of the road after him in Redhill cemetery.

Alternative options considered:

There are two alternative options these are:

1)    Not to proceed with any naming tribute (this would be the normal procedure in line with the current policy where a proposal does not fit the criteria set).

2)    To amend the current adopted SNN policy to include a death in combat clause and then proceed with the naming of the road after Guardsman Hill.  This may impact on the Council’s ability to commemorate the fallen during early 2019.

Other reasons / organisations consulted

The Portfolio Holder for Planning Policy Councillor K. Foreman has been consulted on the proposal and is supportive to making the exemption to the policy.  The Digital Delivery Manager (who has the delegated authority) has also been consulted and supports the exemption.

In the event that the Leader authorises this request Ward Members and Royal Mail would be consulted on the proposed naming of the cemetery road.

Publication date: 30/01/2019

Date of decision: 30/01/2019

Accompanying Documents: