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Renewed support for tribute to Anita Roddick
A campaign to build a lasting tribute to Anita Roddick has received overwhelming support since it was launched.
The Argus is championing the move to get a blue plaque put up at 22 Kensington Gardens, Brighton, the spot where Dame Anita opened her first Body Shop in 1976.
Bureaucrats stand in the way of the idea because under normal city rules a person must be dead for five years before a blue plaque can be put up in Brighton and Hove.
However Tory councillor Averil Older, the only elected member to sit on the city's plaque panel, has become the latest to criticise the rule and throw her considerable support behind the move.
She said: "I see absolutely no reason why we have to wait five years to put this up.
"Anita Roddick was a pioneer in this city who really put the North Laine area on the map.
"She was a local woman who we should be honouring."
Coun Older will be among the panel which will have a crucial vote on the plan once the proposal has been put to the city council in October.
She told The Argus she would urge others on the panel, which include local history and culture experts, to vote the same way.
The idea to build the memorial was mooted by the city's Labour group just hours after Dame Anita passed away at St Richard's Hospital, Chichester, after suffering a brain haemorrhage on Monday night. She was 64.
It has since won support across the political divide and from all sections of the community, from people eager to recognise the role Dame Anita played in promoting Brighton and bringing employment to Sussex.
Gill Mitchell, the Labour group leader branded the five year rule "mad" and said the plaque should be put up as soon as possible.
A spokesman for Brighton and Hove City Council said the rule had been invented by its previous administration with cross-party support.
However he admitted that it was not "necessarily cast in stone" and that in the face of overwhelming public support could be overlooked.
Coun Older also suggested that the plaque could be paid for out of private donations, instead of public funds.
She said: "Whether it comes from public money or not, I don't know, that is another matter but I do support the idea of having a plaque one way or another."
Comments posted on The Argus website suggest there is also support among the public for the plaque.
"CR" from Hampshire said: "Admirable, amazing, activist Anita Roddick - a legend and inspiration."
"Tom Johnston" from Barcelona added: "I have just heard of Anita's death and am stunned more than any other time in my life.
"Of course we must honour her now, and we must all live as she did."
You can leave a message of support for our campaign below or vote online on our website.