Birmingham council accused of ‘virtue signalling’ over street names

Birmingham City Council has been accused of virtue signalling after it gave six new streets ‘woke’ names.

England’s biggest council called the roads in Perry Barr: Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny Road, Inspire Avenue, Respect Way and Humanity Close.

The titles were decided by a panel of judges after locals were asked to submit suggestions for the 1,400 addresses.

The winner was Louise Kilbride from Handsworth Wood, whose theme was based on ‘cohesion and shared values for Perry Barr and surrounding areas’.

But the Labour-run council has been slammed for virtue signalling, with Brummies taking to social media to air their ’embarrassment’ at the ‘woke’ names.

Birmingham City Council has been accused of virtue signalling after it gave six new streets 'woke' names

Birmingham City Council has been accused of virtue signalling after it gave six new streets 'woke' names

Birmingham City Council has been accused of virtue signalling after it gave six new streets ‘woke’ names

England's biggest council called the roads in Perry Barr: Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny Road, Inspire Avenue, Respect Way and Humanity Close

England's biggest council called the roads in Perry Barr: Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny Road, Inspire Avenue, Respect Way and Humanity Close

England’s biggest council called the roads in Perry Barr: Diversity Grove, Equality Road, Destiny Road, Inspire Avenue, Respect Way and Humanity Close

The new road names were decided by a panel of seven made up of councillors, businessmen and a local resident.

They included: Cllr Waseem Zaffar, Cllr Morriam Jan, CEO of Great Health Care for the Community Zulfigar Khan, Chair of Holford Drive Community Sports Hub Ltd Lincoln Moses, local resident Aisha Masood, Lendlease Project Director for the Perry Barr Residential Scheme Anna Evans and Birmingham City Council Development Planning Manager Rebecca Farr.

The criteria for the names were that they should have a local connection, could not be a person’s name, not already in use and not serving any commercial interest.

Ms Kilbride, who lives a mile away from the new streets, said: ‘I came across the street naming competition in the council’s e-newsletter.

‘It got me thinking about street names that could in some way reflect the diversity of the Perry Barr area – names that would have a positive meaning for local people and echo my belief that everyone deserves decent housing.

‘That’s when I thought of these names and I feel honoured that these have been picked.’

More than 1,000 homes are being built on the former Birmingham City University campus, after approval was given by the city council in August 2019

More than 1,000 homes are being built on the former Birmingham City University campus, after approval was given by the city council in August 2019

More than 1,000 homes are being built on the former Birmingham City University campus, after approval was given by the city council in August 2019

Names for the Perry Bar development's streets have been criticised, as one Twitter user pointed out 'you could have chosen to mark some of the great people from across Birmingham's multi-cultural community'

Names for the Perry Bar development's streets have been criticised, as one Twitter user pointed out 'you could have chosen to mark some of the great people from across Birmingham's multi-cultural community'

Names for the Perry Bar development’s streets have been criticised, as one Twitter user pointed out ‘you could have chosen to mark some of the great people from across Birmingham’s multi-cultural community’

Competition winner Louise Kilbride said she picked the street names 'that would have a positive meaning for local people and echo my belief that everyone deserves decent housing'

Competition winner Louise Kilbride said she picked the street names 'that would have a positive meaning for local people and echo my belief that everyone deserves decent housing'

Competition winner Louise Kilbride said she picked the street names ‘that would have a positive meaning for local people and echo my belief that everyone deserves decent housing’

Cllr Waseem Zaffar was on the panel which decided the name

Cllr Waseem Zaffar was on the panel which decided the name

Cllr Waseem Zaffar was on the panel which decided the name

But the names were slammed online within hours of the announcement, with one man writing: ‘You’ve missed, ‘Virtual Signalling Traffic Lights.’

One man posted: ‘Seriously!?! You could have chosen to mark some of the great people from across Birmingham’s multi-cultural community.

‘Instead THIS is what you came up with?! A series of banal buzz words for a series of roads that won’t even play host to the commonwealth athletes. WHAT A JOKE!’

Another wrote: ‘Patronising beyond belief. So out of touch. The whole set up as been at total embarrassment to the good folk of Perry Barr and Birmingham!’

One man commented: ‘Good Lord how embarrassing. Could they have not called them after our local sporting greats Denise Lewis, Tessa Sanderson, Nick Gillingham etc.’

Another put: ‘I’m calling it now. Someone’s going to put a D at the end of HUMANITY CLOSE.’

One person branded it ‘utter woke nonsense’, while another asked: ‘Where’s ‘Woke Lane’ or ‘Womxn Street’?’

A woman said: ‘Presumably, the list of options gave little choice…. I wonder how many actually participated in the ‘competition’.

‘Pity the people who have to live in those places (speaking as a resident of Birmingham)!’

And one social media user added: ‘Is that the best you could come up with? Embarrassing.’

The 1,400 houses are being built on the former Birmingham City University Campus and are expected to be finished by 2023.

Lendlease, the principal contractor, came up with the idea of a street naming contest.

Project Director Anna Evans said: ‘These are wonderful street names for the vibrant new neighbourhood we are creating.

‘Congratulations to Louise, who has helped play an important role in the future history of Perry Barr.’

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