Plan to honour former councillor is under fire

SENT IN - james dempsey mp
SENT IN - james dempsey mp

A PLAN to rename the gap site between Bellshill Main Street and the Morrisons store in memory of a former town councillor has come under fire.

North Lanarkshire Council is upgrading the site and plans to name it after James Dempsey, a Labour councillor in Bellshill in the 1940s and 50s.

But the proposal has been criticised by the family of the late Alexander Sharp who used to own the land and ran a herbalist business on it. Mr Sharp’s daughter Elizabeth, who now lives in Carluke, said that as former Coucnillor Dempsey had no direct connection with the land and the council should rethink the plan.

The move to honour Mr Dempsey was the idea of SNP councillor and Bellshill Local Area Partnership convener Councillor Richard Lyle.

But Miss Sharp said she would prefer the council to name the site after James Cleland Richardson - a Bellshill-born soldier and piper who won the Victoria Cross during the First World War and who was born just a few yards from the site at Bellshill police office, where his father worked.

She said: “While I mean no disrespect to Mr Dempsey’s memory or to his family, I am at a loss to understand why that particular land should be dedicated to his memory when he had absolutely no connection with it.”

For full story see January 27 edition of Bellshill Speaker.