Wiltshire Publications

New road will be named after late headteacher

WESTBURYTown Council has resolved at last  to name a road after ex-Matravers headteacher, Nigel Gilhespy, following months of campaigning by former students.

The council’s Highways, Planning and Development Committee settled on 10 street names to present to developers Barratt Homes, to be used on the new ‘White Horse View’ estate, which is being built near The Mead. ‘Gilhespy’ was among the names put forward.

Past students, colleagues, family and friends of Nigel Gilhespy submitted a petition signed by over 2,000 people to Westbury Town Council earlier this year, to have a road named in his honour.

The petition, started in 2014, was initially rejected by councillors at a highways committee meeting in April this year when four voted for and four against using the name.

Then at a meeting in May the committee were tasked with putting forward a full list of names – a process that saw Gilhespy make into the final ten.

Although campaigners had wanted the name Gilhespy Way, no suffix was chosen by the committee; this will be chosen by Barratt Homes.

Wiltshire councillor Horace Prickett was involved in the campaign to name a road after Nigel. He is hopeful that people will continue to push while the developers make their choices.

Cllr Prickett said, “I’m very pleased that the council have put forward Nigel’s name. I’ve had overwhelming support for the idea from council officers and councillors, and many people continue to say he’s the best thing that ever happened to Matravers School.

“We now need to make sure that the developers know the significance of this name. There should be no misunderstanding about this as there will be a letter from Westbury Town Council explaining that it was chosen by the local community, and that we have a petition with over 2,000 signatures. I will also be asking people who signed the petition to send letters of support to make sure the strength of local feeling is known.”

Developers Barratt Homes will have the final say on the road names. Wiltshire Council hold the right to veto any that are deemed inappropriate, but cllr Prickett is certain there will be no objections in this case.

The nine other road names chosen were: Alma Gardens, Wedmore, Athelney, Uffington, Fort Place, Sunnybank Road, Moonraker Rise, Edith, and Berengaria.

Those without a suffix such as ‘Road’ or ‘Rise’ will have them allocated by Barratt Homes.