A RIVERSIDE park in Ringwood is to be named in memory of a popular town mayor despite opposition from some residents.

Cllr Danny Cracknell died, aged 70, after a lengthy battle with cancer last April.

During his 20-plus years on the council Cllr Cracknell, or “Mr Ringwood” as he became known, had been very involved with the creation of the Pocket Park, located between The Bickerley and the Mill Stream.

At a town council meeting current Mayor Cllr Brian Terry officially proposed changing the name from Pocket Park to the Danny Cracknell Pocket Park. Cllr Jeremy Heron seconded the proposal.

But a Handley Court resident said it was clear many residents opposed the renaming.

She said no-one was showing disrespect and it was agreed his name should be honoured, but not by renaming an established area.

Another resident, Richard Pierson, supported the name change, saying Cllr Cracknell had been the main instigator in recruiting volunteers to clear the scrub and create the park.

Cllr Gloria O’Reilly said she represented 30 residents who were opposed to the new name and handed in seven letters.

Council student advisor James Fullick said he was younger than the park and would like to look back in his old age to see that the town had honoured inspirational people like Cllr Cracknell.

When it was put to the vote, no-one was against the change.

Cllr Cracknell’s widow Diane told the Daily Echo she was very happy with the decision.

“He was evacuated to that area in 1941 so it was appropriate the council have named that park after him,” she said.

“It’s much more appropriate to have a park than a plaque on a wall.”

The official naming ceremony will take place at 11am on Saturday exactly a year after his death.