COLUMN: Liberal Democrat group leader blasts Chesterfield council’s ‘irresponsible spending’ on rebranding project

Councillor Ray Russell, pictured left.
Councillor Ray Russell, pictured left.

Last week this newspaper made clear the very strong feelings of many local residents about the rebranding project of Chesterfield’s Labour-run council.

This includes throwing out the easily recognisable Crooked Spire logo and replacing it with an abstract logo that has been described as ‘three triangles that look more like the sails of a boat’.

A recent national newspaper also rubbished what they called the ‘major branding flop’ of spending almost £14,000 of residents’ money on the project - no doubt with more to follow.

Just why Labour bosses should want to replace a winning formula and risk causing confusion is anyone’s guess.

But it should come as no surprise to the council that many residents are very unhappy with this change - and with the spending of £14 000 of their money on the rebranding.

After all, it was only about two years ago that £10, 000 of public money was spent unnecessarily in my view on replacing the borough boundary signs by new signs that didn’t have the Crooked Spire on.

Then, after a public outcry, more public money was spent putting the much-loved spire back on the signs!

Just, as importantly - isn’t this sort of spending of residents’ money totally insensitive and irresponsible, when the country is suffering a long period of austerity? Particularly when Chesterfield Council has itself, over the past few years, reduced staffing by around 140 jobs with plans for more losses to come.

And is also telling residents that it this will inevitably mean reducing the basic services it delivers because there’s not enough money to go round.

Put this spending on re-branding together with the spending of £150,000 on a London public relations company that this paper reported Derbyshire Council spending (August 20th 2014) and local residents must be wondering whether their local Labour councils are spending their money just as wisely as they might be.