Councillor defends naming new road after cigarette brand: 'We aren't a PC city'

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The name was approved by Bristol City Council in order to celebrate the city’s industrial past. The renamed road was the former site of the Imperial Group tobacco factory and the change in name was introduced to celebrate the 70-home housing complex that is currently being built on the location.

The council has said the Mayor’s Office is currently reviewing the name after backlash from cancer and anti-smoking charities.

Local Conservative councillor, Richard Eddy, suggested naming the street after a cigarette brand after he dismissed the proposed name as “ridiculous”.

The original name, “Crox View”, was planned due to the local forest nearby, named Crox Bottom, but Mr Eddy rejected the name as the woodland is blocked from view of local residents by the Imperial Park retail centre.

An Imperial Brands spokesperson, who manufactured Nacy Player’s Cut cigarettes until 2016, said: “As a global business headquartered in the UK, we are proud of our long-standing connection with Bristol.”

Deborah Arnott, the chief executive of Action on Smoking and Health (ASH), said that “while the name may be legal” it is “still morally unacceptable”.

She added that the name would “undermine” Bristol City Council’s efforts to promote health and well-being for local residents.

A Cancer Research UK spokesperson has said they understood that “councils are often keen to acknowledge local heritage when naming roads”.

However, they believe that “celebrating a tobacco brand in this way isn’t the most helpful message to give out, especially to children and young people”.

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Bristol was a trade port during the 17th and 18th centuries and processed sugar and tobacco imported from British colonies.

In the 1960s, the city produced over 350million cigarettes a week at the local Hartcliffe factory, making it the largest tobacco factory in Europe and driving much of Bristol’s economy.

Mr Eddy also described the local area Brishopsworth where the road is located as “a plain-speaking, no-nonsense place”.

He said: “We don’t take kindly to politically correct busybodies pushing their noses into our affairs.”

The councillor also accused ASH of being “woke warriors” who are “nothing more than ignorant Leftie professional agitators and they should refrain from lecturing Bristolians as if we were uninformed and not grown-up”.

He added: “Bristolians know our city boasts a ‘gritty’ identity based on manufacturing and trading and we should not shy away from acknowledging our past.”



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