Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees vetoed naming a South Bristol road after a tobacco product following pushback from Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), reports Bristol Live.
The road was set to be named Navy Cut Road after a brand produced by the Imperial Brands tobacco factory that formerly occupied that area. After ASH said that was “morally unacceptable,” however, Rees vetoed the name in favor of naming the road after Florence Mills Brown, the first female lord mayor.
Councilor Richard Eddy criticized the move, saying that Mayor Rees is “imposing” his will on the citizens of the area.
“Having served on Bristol City Council for 30 years, it does not escape me that, contrary to all previous practice, your team is not seeking the views of my local community and its elected councilors on a proposed street-naming within my neighborhood,” Eddy wrote in an email.
“Whilst I’m sure former Lord Mayor Florence Brown was a creditworthy woman, why name a road here after a Labour politician who represented two wards miles away in North Bristol and has no discernible links to Bishopsworth?
“This is not just a small disagreement over street naming in a southern city suburb, but it goes to the heart of the debate about whether Bristol should be ruled by one man with a ‘God complex’ or whether local communities and their duly elected councilors should determine their own destinies.”