Members of Falkirk Council’s executive voted to support former Provost Pat Reid’s suggestion that streets signs should include a line to show the provenance of the name, something he said would keep alive the area’s local history for generations to come.
He said he realised it would be too costly to replace all of the district’s existing signs but if any older signs were in disrepair and needing replaced the information could be added at that point.
Denny councillor Paul Garner argued strongly against the proposal, saying it was too expensive and would be dangerous for road users.
He said: “The primary consideration is public safety and making sure streets are identifiable in an emergency.”
Councillor Garner also told councillors that replacing the district’s signs would cost up to £975,000 and said: “It’s a good idea but the costs are astronomical!”
Instead, he suggested council staff collate the information to go on a website.
However, Councillor Reid pointed out that he had never asked for signs to be replaced across the district.
He said: “To say I was suggesting expenditure of £400,000 is slightly insulting.”
Councillor Reid had made the proposal at a previous meeting when it was agreed officers would look into the cost of the project.
The meeting on Tuesday heard that street signs cost £55, which would rise to £110 with the new information included.
Developers foot the bill for new street names but once in place the council is responsible for maintenance and it has had to replace 97 signs in the past two years.
Development services manager Rhona Geisler said she was worried about the time it would take staff to research the information, particularly for older signs.
However, Councillor Reid said he felt this was research that members of local history societies would be keen to be involved with.
SNP members were unhappy at the proposal.
Councillor David Alexander said: “It doesn’t matter if the cost is minor, a cost is still a cost and small amounts still have an impact on the budget.”
The Conservative group, however, backed Pat Reid’s request and voted to make the change.
At the previous meeting Councillor Nicol said several streets in his ward were named after victims of the Redding Pit Disaster and he was keen that this was known by new people moving into the area.