£130,000 to rename Collier Row estate? ‘No thanks’

Highfield estate is to be redeveloped by the council

Highfield estate is to be redeveloped by the council - Credit: Archant

“A complete waste of taxpayers money,” “crass” and “a stupid idea.”

Poll results

Poll results - Credit: Archant

These are some of the terms residents have used to describe Havering Council’s “quirky” new plans to celebrate the Queen becoming the longest-reigning monarch.

The idea, proposed by housing boss and deputy leader Cllr Damian White at last week’s cabinet meeting, is to rename buildings within the Highfield Road estate in Collier Row after Commonwealth countries – to the tune of £100-130,000.

It would form part of a £1.85m redevelopment, aiming to redecorate blocks, repair balconies and improve landscapes by the September 9 anniversary.

The £130,000 would be spent on “signage” and the administration involved in changing the names. Discussions with emergency services, who can reject plans due to possible confusion, will be needed.

Highfield estate is to be redeveloped by the council

Highfield estate is to be redeveloped by the council - Credit: Archant

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And it’s safe to say responses from the public and local businesses suggest it is a royally bad idea, with many asking why the money could not be spent elsewhere in the midst of huge budget cuts.

One resident is so annoyed by the idea, she is taking the matter to Her Majesty herself.

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Sheila Clements, of Dawes Avenue, Hornchurch, said: “I was absolutely fuming. We are supposed to be in austerity measures. I am in the process of writing to the Queen now and asking her if she can put a stop to this.”

Romford MP and former councillor for the area, Andrew Rosindell, a staunch Royalist who supports Commonwealth relations, said it was a “magnificent” idea as the estate had been “neglected for decades”.

He called the milestone the “most historic event in the history of the British monarchy.”

Cllr White, said: “It sounds a bit quirky but there is a great sense of pride among residents that they have been selected to benefit from it.”

Opposition councillors are not convinced. Residents’ Association leader Cllr Ray Morgon said “it’s a huge cost just to rename something” while Ukip leader Cllr Lawrence Webb called it a “vanity project”.

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