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Folkestone and Hythe District Council spend over £6,000 on name change

By Molly Mileham-Chappell

The district council has confirmed that just over half of the allocated budget for the authority's name change has been spent within the last year.

It has been exactly 12 months since Folkestone and Hythe District Council (FHDC) adopted a change of its name from Shepway District Council on Sunday, April 1 2018.

The budget for the project had previously raised concerns with taxpayers, but of the £10,000 set aside for the move, only £6,041.37 has been used to date.

The new logo
The new logo

The change was proposed by council leader Cllr David Monk and voted through at an extraordinary meeting in January 2018.

He argued that the name change would create 'stronger geographical identity' on a national and international level, and 'mirror' the name of the parliamentary constituency.

It came after years of confusion for many Kent residents, mixing it up with the likes of Isle of Sheppey and a suburb in Maidstone.

A spokesman for the council said at the time that the re-branding would come in phases to keep costs down.

Changes were made initially to the council’s logo, which kept the white horse emblem seen also in chalk on Cheriton Hill above the Channel Tunnel.

But the decision came under fire last year, with some residents complaining of feeling 'forgotten', particularly those living on the Marsh.

Council leader Cllr David Monk
Council leader Cllr David Monk

Cllr Roger Wilkins (Con) for the Romney Marsh ward proposed an amendment to the name change at the extraordinary meeting to include the area, which stretches over 100 square miles.

But the move was defeated, along with another motion to defer the discussion to the parishes and towns.

Shepway adopted the name in 1974, when it absorbed former borough and rural councils, merging boroughs of Folkestone, Hythe, Lydd and New Romney, along with Elham and Romney Marsh.

A spokeswoman said: "I can confirm that of the £10,000 we set aside for expenses related to our change of name, £6,041.37 has been spent.

"This is correct as of March, 31 2019."

However, she was unable to confirm a figure breakdown of the spending. She added: "We have always said that we would replace items on an as and when basis and that will continue.

"There are no immediate plans to replace anything beyond items we would normally have to replace because they come to the end of their useful life."

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