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St Dunstan’s Rev warns of risk to heritage, as changes to ward names loom

PUBLISHED: 15:05 04 January 2013 | UPDATED: 15:13 04 January 2013

Reverend Trevor F. Critchlow, left, is joined by parishioners and Cllr Abdal Ullah as they are angry at a plan to drop the name 'St Dunstan's' from a ward in Tower Hamlets.

Reverend Trevor F. Critchlow, left, is joined by parishioners and Cllr Abdal Ullah as they are angry at a plan to drop the name 'St Dunstan's' from a ward in Tower Hamlets.

Archant

More than 1,000 years of history is under threat if planned changes to ward names in Tower Hamlets are pushed through, the Rector of St Dunstan’s Church has warned.

Rev Trevor Critchlow of St Dunstan’s Church in Stepney has urged people to keep the pressure up for the controversial plans to be dropped before a public consultation period on plans drawn up by the Local Government Boundary Commission ends on Monday, January 7.

The proposals include scrapping the name of the 1,000-year-old church from the St Dunstan’s and Stepney Green ward and absorbing it into two wards of Stepney East and Stepney West.

Rev Critchlow said: “The question is, should the names just be generic, or should they represent something?

“St Dunstan obviously has a very old association with the area. It’s about more than 1,000 years of history, going back to before the Norman Conquest. “I’m quite hopeful that the name will be preserved”, he added.

His calls were echoed by Labour councillor Abdal Ullah, whose ward would be affected, and who said that ward names should reflect the “sentiments” of the community.

The Commission will now consider feedback it received during the consultation, before delivering its final recommendations in spring. The changes would then come into effect in time for the 2014 council elections.

Its draft recommendations, which also include dropping “Banglatown” from the Spitalfields and Banglatown ward and “Lansbury” from the East India and Lansbury ward, have attracted widespread criticism, with Mayor of Tower Hamlets Lutfur Rahman threatening legal action if the Commission adopts the plans.

The Commission has previously said it will consider all submissions made to it. For more information on the changes, visit: http://www.lgbce.org.uk/all-reviews/south-east/greater-london/tower-hamlets-fer

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