Tory plan to turn town hall blue ‘sets a dangerous precedent’

Plans to turn a town hall blue in Darlington to match the council’s ruling Tory group’s colours set a “dangerous precedent” opponents have claimed.

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BBC News 

Darlington Town Hall

Plans to turn Darlington Town Hall blue have not been universally popular among councillors: image Google

They said Darlington Borough Council’s £20,000 rebranding would undermine the position of non-political staff.

Conservative deputy leader Jonathan Dulston said the changes reflected an overhaul of the council’s identity.

The town hall’s concrete exterior has not changed since it was opened in 1970 by the Princess Royal.

Labour shadow portfolio holder Nick Wallis said the “botched rebranding” could lead to long-term damage to the council’s reputation.

“They are fixated with PR and the promotion of themselves at all costs,” he said.

“They don’t care about wasting public money if they believe it advances their political interests.”

‘Palette of colours’

The rebranding plans include painting the concrete outside wall of the town hall and changing the authority’s logo to reflect what the council called a “progressive agenda”, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

Assets featuring the council’s logo, such as bins, would only be updated during scheduled works or when they needed replacing, Mr Dulston said.

In-house skills and resources had been used, keeping costs to a minimum, he added.

Green Party leader Matthew Snedker said council building paintwork and coronavirus publicity had already changed to blue and further works set “a very dangerous precedent”.

Publicising it on social media before it had been approved by cabinet appeared “to do away with the political process”, he said.

Liberal Democrat group leader Anne Marie Curry said the town hall needed to remain a politically neutral colour and there was a “massive palette of colours they could choose from”.