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Wokingham Lib Dems reject Tory plan to re-introduce old Council Logo as 'confusing and old-fashioned'

September 4, 2003 12:00 AM

At the Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting at Wokingham District Council on Wednesday 3rd September, Council Leader, Frank Browne, defended his decision to reintroduce an old Wokingham District Council logo, to replace the new Council logo that was introduced in 2001.

Councillor Stephen Conway (Lib Dem Councillor for Twyford and Ruscombe ward) said, "I'm amazed that Frank Browne wants to drag us back into the last century. He says that the old heraldic shield with a Latin motto is more accessible to our residents than a new, modern logo with an English motto. I can't imagine any forward-looking modern company choosing such an old-fashioned emblem.

Councillor Keith Malvern (Lib Dem Councillor for Emmbrook ward) added, "This is going to lead to great confusion. Frank Browne has decided to replace the words "Wokingham Unitary" with the words "Wokingham District Council" in the logo. One of the main reasons for introducing the new logo in 2001 was to clearly identify us as a Council with many more responsibilities than a District Council. This was especially valuable in getting the Government to understand the scale of the needs of our district. And it worked! In the two years since the new logo was introduced, we have received more Government money.

"I am appalled that Frank Browne is prepared to throw all this away. I can't help but feel that part of his determination to go back to an old, heraldic shield is based on a petty-minded desire to undo a change brought in by the last Lib Dem administration."

Council officers told the Overview & Scrutiny committee meeting that if the old logo was to be reintroduced at minimal cost, it could take as long as 20 to 25 years to replace all the Council signs to give one single logo in the district. A speedier change-over would cost a great deal more money.

The Overview & Scrutiny Committee agreed to recommend to the Tory Executive that they reverse their decision to reintroduce the old logo (wording follows).

"O&S Committee believes that there were sound reasons for introducing a new WDC logo in 2001, namely to reflect the unitary states of the authority and to help avoid confusion by government about which level of local government they were funding.

O&S Committee notes that the IDEA report in 2000 strongly supported the introduction of a new logo to re-brand the Council as a unitary authority.

The Committee believes that the re-introduction of an old District Council logo is not effective or desirable use of public funds at a time when some services are clearly under-funded, and is a waste of money.

This Committee calls upon the Executive to reverse its decision to re-introduce an old District Council logo, which makes no reference to unitary status, as it believes its introduction will make it more difficult for the Council to be taken seriously as a modern, forward-thinking authority, especially in its dealings with government, and will be seen as a retrograde step."