The Leader of Camden Council, Georgia Gould, is proposing to give a name to the small roundabout at the southern end of Highgate West Hill, at the junction with Swains Lane. The name she wants to give it is Boris Nemtsov Place, Boris Nemtsov being an assassinated Russian dissident, but this renaming is being done in such a rush that effective consultation has been impossible. The naming ceremony is timed for Monday 14 November with the roads round there being closed between 11am and 1pm. Alterations to the roundabout will cost several thousand pounds of taxpayers’ money, and there will be a substantial further cost through long diversions of the three bus routes which use the roundabout, as well as inconvenience to other users of these quite busy roads.
The roundabout has apparently been chosen because it is not far from Russian commercial and military offices – though not close enough for there to be any obvious link, and in any event even local people may well not know where those offices are. So the plan is a bit silly: of course we oppose assassinations but it makes no sense for a little known man to be commemorated by giving a roundabout a name that no-one is likely to use, too far away from any property to which it could be relevant.
This is a waste of money, there has been quite inadequate consultation and the arrangements for the ceremony were even made before the consultation was finished! Since the plan was announced the Society has heard nothing but opposition to it.
11 November 2022