PART OF Havelock Road in Southall, greater London, will be renamed to Guru Nanak Road to pay tribute to the Sikh community’s contribution to the borough of Ealing, writes Anahita Hossein-Pour.
The renaming will take place between King Street and Merrick Road, and includes the home to the Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha Southall, the largest Gurdwara organisation outside of India.
The decision comes in the 551th anniversary year of the birth of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism.
It also scraps the road name’s colonial past, currently honouring Sir Henry Havelock, a British Army general who violently put down the first Indian War of Independence in 1857.
Council leader Julian Bell first announced a review into public landmarks in Ealing in June as the Black Lives Matter movement and protests in the UK sparked debate over controversial statues celebrating slave traders.
Business and community services boss, cllr Kamaljit Dhindsa, said: “I welcome this change. Ealing’s diversity is our strength and we have to make sure that the places we live reflect that diversity through our street names and buildings.”
A consultation with residents, businesses, the Royal Mail and emergency services was carried out to discuss the road name change. Of 445 responses overall from residents in and outside the Havelock Road area, around 55 per cent supported the changes, while 41 per cent opposed.
The change will mean residents and businesses affected by the name change will have to update their addresses for example for insurance, deeds, websites and stationery at their own cost.
The change will come into force early next year.
Meanwhile, the council’s race equality commission continues to review inequalities in Ealing, with a report of recommendations expected in May 2021.
Cllr Bell said: “Ealing’s independent equality commission will explore what residents and businesses believe can be done to reduce inequality while improving outcomes. It will look at education, employment, crime and justice, health and housing, among others.
“The renaming of one of Ealing’s roads reflects the importance of celebrating the borough’s diversity and is a timely celebration of Guru Nanak’s birthday on 30 November.”