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Councillors have agreed to speed up the process of changing a street name that has been linked to racism.

Haringey Council will hold a further consultation with residents of Black Boy Lane in West Green before a final decision on whether to rename the street ‘La Rose Lane’, in honour of writer John La Rose, is made in February.

It comes after former council leader Joseph Ejiofor warned recent plans by the civic centre to include the proposed renaming as part of a wider review risked pushing a decision “into the deep grass”.

During a meeting of the corporate committee last week, Cllr Ejiofor said the “offensive” Black Boy Lane should be renamed La Rose Lane by February. However, a decision was deferred for a week to allow council officers to look into the legal and financial implications of his proposal.

A report presented to the reconvened corporate committee on Tuesday November 22 outlines plans to “move forward with the process of renaming Black Boy Lane” but adds that residents would “rightly and legitimately expect a further period of consultation and due consideration of feedback” before a final decision is made on the renaming.

This is because they had already been told of the committee’s previous decision, back in March, that further consultation would be carried out, the report says. It adds that it would be “potentially unlawful” for the renaming to take effect on February 1 without further consultation.

Black Boy Lane was singled out as needing “immediate review” after Cllr Ejiofor announced a review of monument, building, place and street names in Haringey to show solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement during his term as council leader in June last year.

During Tuesday’s meeting, committee members raised concerns that the renaming would continue to be delayed as a result of the latest proposals.

Responding to the concerns, a council officer told the committee that residents had already been sent letters informing them of plans for a further consultation. He added that statements regarding the planned consultation had been published in the local press and on the council website.

The officer warned the committee that if the council did not fulfil a promise made to residents, it could leave itself open to a judicial review.

The report sets out plans for a further period of consultation with residents to run from December 1 until January 19. A report on the outcome of the consultation will be brought back to the committee on 1st February for a final decision on the making of an order to rename Black Boy Lane.

The committee will also make a decision on a timetable for implementing the renaming to ensure it does not affect the preparation for and conduct of the May 2022 local elections.

Following the debate, the committee unanimously agreed the report’s recommendations.

This content was originally published here.

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