Councils plan identity change

MORE THAN 30 major towns and cities which are expected to attain unitary status are considering changing their identities.

The move follows Environment Secretary John Gummer’s approval of recommendations made in the Local Government Boundary Commission’s final review last week.

Although each change in status must go through Parliament, where a date will be set for the unitary authority to come into force, councils are already planning for change.

Some councils view a new name and look as crucial to the new authorities’ image between now and the shadow council elections next year. “It’s going to have an impact on now and the run-up to the shadow elections,” says a council spokeswoman for Reading, which will be awarded unitary status along with five other Berkshire towns .

However, some of the new authorities, such as Nottingham, Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, and Torbay in Devon, will wait until after shadow elections to decide on commissioning their identity work.

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