The change in status of local councils in England, Scotland and Wales is likely to lead to a bumper crop of more than 80 new identities, according to Department for the Environment spokesmen.
Environment Secretary John Gummer has approved the unitary status of 29 local authorities in Scotland and 22 in Wales, all of which will be considering new identities after shadow elections in April, say the spokesmen.
The status of local authorities has been reviewed by the Local Government Boundary Commission over the past three years. Alan Ainsley, senior designer at McIlroy Coates, which designed Stirling District Council’s identity (DW 4 September 1992), sees the potential for a boom in Scotland where all 29 councils have gained unitary status: “There is a huge marketplace for design work.”
Unitary status is recommended for 50 English authorities, and more than 30 are likely to change their identity, says a source.
It is believed that as many of the changes as possible, including Cleveland’s change into unitary councils for Middlesbrough, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland, will be approved before the local government shadow elections in May.
A DoE spokesman says: “The Government’s target is for the change to be completed by 1997.”
Many councils will change their names – by reverting to the name they had before the 1974 reorganisation, as Rutland has done, or by combining names of merging councils, like Brighton and Hove.
A spokesman for Thamesdown in Wiltshire confirmed it is “highly likely” the council would change its name and need a new logo.