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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Welsh village called Nelson on list of ‘problematic’ places

The village, with a population of 4,600, was included on the list of sites linked to slavery, despite council documents noting that the village’s name is not an “intentional commemoration of Nelson”.

Documents cite the historical fact that “the settlement collected around the railway station … was named for the adjacent Lord Nelson Inn”, rather than directly for the admiral himself.

Lord Nelson’s legacy has been reassessed in the wake of Black Lives Matter protests, with some contending that he supported slavery and defended the institution by maintaining Britain’s naval supremacy.

Caerphilly launched its review of people, streets, monuments and buildings in the wake of protests directed against public commemorations of those accused of historic crimes.

Welsh Conservative Member of Senedd Natasha Asghar branded the dossier “absolutely absurd”, adding: “The village was named after its pub The Nelson, and not because of potential links to Lord Nelson. To slander an entire village in this way is outrageous.

“Sadly, this is just another example of political correctness going too far, and it is high time we stop pandering to the woke left. I hope it has dawned on officers at Caerphilly Council just how ridiculous this really is, and that the village of Nelson should remain Nelson.”

Numerous streets named for Nelson have also been highlighted in the council’s review. Other places in the Caerphilly area named after “persons of interest” were also highlighted in relation to the their guilt or innocence in relation to the slave trade.

A park named for wartime leader Winston Churchill has been included in the list, with an amber rating, and the dossier takes issue with Picton Street in Pontlottyn, named for Sir Thomas Picton, as the officer killed at Waterloo has been criticised for his colonial governorship of Trinidad.

Documents note that former prime minister William Gladstone, whose reputation has been challenged because his father received compensation following abolition, also has a street named after him in the area.

Simon Hart, the Secretary of State for Wales, said: “I imagine the residents of Nelson will have plenty to say. From what I’ve heard they are totally nonplussed that the Welsh government and Caerphilly Council are focusing on this rather than local jobs.”

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