Dad backs street name plan to honour heroes
THE father of one of Llanelli's fallen heroes has backed moves to offer families bereaved by war the chance to name streets after their lost loved ones.
Ian Kirkpatrick, whose son Corporal Jamie Kirkpatrick, 32, died in action in Afghanistan in June 2010, said the idea being promoted by the Labour Party was one which had merit.
"It sounds very positive to me. Jamie would laugh his cotton socks off at the idea, but I don't think we can have any negative feelings about it," said Mr Kirkpatrick.
"In principle it is something we would be interested in.
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"I will talk to the family about it, obviously."
Carmarthenshire Council leader Kevin Madge also said he was in favour of the suggestion.
"Here in Carmarthenshire we have a long history of supporting the Armed Forces, its personnel, veterans and their families — a commitment we have celebrated recently with the signing of the Armed Forces Covenant," he said.
"While the naming of streets after fallen heroes is something we haven't yet had the chance to discuss locally, we will of course be happy to look into it and will await the advice and recommendations from Jim Murphy MP and Hilary Benn MP."
Barking and Dagenham Council in London has led the way by naming two streets after soldiers killed in Afghanistan.
Now, in a letter to all councils, shadow defence secretary Mr Murphy and shadow communities and local government secretary Mr Benn have urged other local authorities to adopt the policy.
It would see the families of fallen personnel asked whether they would like a road or street named in memory of their loved one.
Then in consultation with the family, the location and precise name would be decided on. Residents in the area would also be consulted.
An official opening ceremony could then be arranged.
Llanelli MP Nia Griffith said: "I think that the key issue here is sensitive consultation with the bereaved family, and respect for their wishes.
"They are the ones who bear the pain of the loss, and they should have the opportunity to decide if they would like to see a new road or an existing feature such as a bridge or a viewpoint on the Millennium Coastal Path called after a loved one lost while serving.
"There may be somewhere that was of particular significance to the deceased.
"If the family is keen, then this scheme offers the chance for the community to share in paying their respects to those citizens who have lost their lives while serving our country."