Street names in Haringey with links to racism and colonialism could be changed in the wake of the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

A review of monuments, building, place and street names will be carried out by the council in response to long-standing concerns expressed by residents.

It comes after the death of George Floyd in the US and the subsequent Black Lives Matter demonstrations sparked a renewed debate over the legacy of Britain’s imperial past.

In Bristol, a statue of slave-trader Edward Colston was recently pulled down by protestors, while the statue of another slave-trader, Robert Milligan, was removed from West India Docks by Tower Hamlets Council.

Rhodes Avenue – named after a great uncle of colonialist Cecil Rhodes – and Black Boy Lane could be among those considered as part of Haringey’s review.

Council leader Cllr Joseph Ejiofor announced the move on Friday (June 12), saying it was “long overdue”.

Cllr Ejiofor (Labour, Bruce Grove) said: “If we are to truly demonstrate our commitment to and solidarity with the aims of the Black Lives Matter movement, we must seriously address these issues.

“If we were naming roads today, we would never choose Rhodes Avenue, which is named after Thomas Rhodes – great uncle to Cecil Rhodes, an imperialist, colonialist, and white supremacist.

“The head of Rhodes Avenue School hopes to be guided by the mayor’s commission regarding the changing of the school’s name.

“Street names such as Black Boy Lane may have a more contested history, but we cannot ignore the fact that meanings change over time, and the term Black Boy is now used most commonly as a derogatory name for African heritage men.

“As a borough, everything we do must be a reflection of our values, and to do this we must not shy away from correcting the mistakes of the past. This is why we will be working with our residents, BAME (Black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities and organisations, and experts to understand the history of our street names and other memorials, to understand their true meaning and reflect on whether or not they are appropriate for our society today.”

People with concerns over place, street or building names in the borough they think should form part of the review have been asked to email their suggestions to

They can also nominate people from Haringey’s history who they believe should be celebrated by the borough. A public consultation will be carried out on the outcome of the review.

Haringey Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Liz Morris (Highgate) said: “We welcome Haringey Council’s decision to review controversial street and place names within the borough. It is right to consider the messages these send about the acceptability of racism, colonialism and other noxious ideologies.

“To ensure the review has credibility it should be conducted on a cross-party basis and engage the full range of voices in the borough. It should also draw on the expertise of historians to contextualise these names and why they were chosen.”