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Agenda item

Petition - Re-name public space in Rotherham Town Centre "Chuckle Square"

 

To consider a petition referred by Council calling on the authrority to consider naming the public space outside Boots in Rotherham Town Centre “Chuckle Square”.

Minutes:

Consideration was given to a petition, which had received 681 eligible signatures under the Council’s petition scheme, submitted by The Rotherham Advertiser calling for public space in Rotherham Town Centre to be re-named as ‘Chuckle Square’ in tribute to the brothers, Barry and Paul Elliott, known as “The Chuckle Brothers”.

 

In presenting the petition, Mr. Gareth Dennison from The Rotherham Advertiser reflected on the honours conferred by the Council in recent years on The Yorkshire Regiment and Howard Webb through Freedom of the Borough, which had been great town centre celebrations. The area referred to in the petition was where Effingham Street crossed Howard Street in the town centre, outside Boots. Mr Dennison submitted that the petition showed widespread, popular support for the Chuckle Brothers to be deserving of such a tribute. The idea for the petition had come about following the death of Barry Elliott in August 2018. The Chuckle Brothers had put Rotherham on the map and such a move would literally put the Chuckle Brothers on the map. The Rotherham Advertiser had launched the campaign after learning that the Council was looking for ideas to name the square, so it was hoped that there would be no budgetary reason to not proceed with the proposal within the petition. Mr Dennison reflected on the positive, free, media coverage that the town had enjoyed since the petition was launched and specifically in the days leading up to the Board’s consideration of the petition. In summary, it was noted that the petition was a light hearted, yet sincere, request to honour the legacy of The Chuckle Brothers and after a rough few years, Mr Dennison, surmised that Rotherham could “do with a chuckle.”

 

The Chair thanked Mr. Dennison for his contribution and invited officers to provide comment. The Acting Assistant Director of Planning, Regeneration and Transportation indicated that there was no formal position from officers in respect of the request made in the petition. A technical explanation was provided to Members in respect of the process followed in naming streets or locations.

 

It was reported that a representation had been received by the Chair which opposed the request made within the petition. The Chair read the representation to the meeting. Mr. Dennison noted that he could have supplied many comments from those in support of the proposal in the petition, which he would have been happy to have shared with the Board.

 

After a period of deliberation, the Board had regard to the submissions made during the meeting on behalf of The Rotherham Advertiser and recognised the strength of feeling that had been expressed through the petition and other media in respect of the contribution of Barry and Paul Elliott, as the Chuckle Brothers, to the reputation of the borough. Members indicated that they were keen to see the positive contribution made by The Chuckle Brothers acknowledged. As Members were aware of a family connection to Maltby, it was been proposed that the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment consider naming a street, children’s play park or other public space as a tribute to the Chuckle Brothers. Members noted that new housing developments in Maltby would provide an opportunity to realise such a tribute in the near future and that when named, the “To Me, To you” signpost designed by The Rotherham Advertiser should be incorporated within the location. 

 

Resolved:-

 

1.    That the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment be recommended to consider naming a street, play park or public space in Maltby in tribute to The Chuckle Brothers.

 

2.    That the Strategic Director of Regeneration and Environment be recommended to include a signpost designed in the same fashion as submitted by The Rotherham Advertiser with the iconic catchphrase “To Me To You” marking the location.

 

3.    That no further action be taken in respect of the petition.

 

 

Supporting documents: