Belfast Telegraph

Council's name game winner to make £30k

By Donna Deeney

The new Derry and Strabane super council has announced it will fork out £30,000 for a consultant to come up with a name and logo for the new body before it even takes power.

And a row over the new name is already brewing before someone is even appointed, along with questions over value for money being raised.

The funding was agreed at the latest meeting of the shadow council, which comes into full effect in April 2015.

To date it has been referred to as Derry City and Strabane District Council but neither this nor any other name has been formally adopted.

The consultant is expected to concentrate on the branding of the new council and the 40 elected members will finalise the name.

The chairman of the meeting, SDLP councillor Gerard Diver, said his party was unlikely to agree anything that did not include Derry.

He said: "I know the name of the council has been contentious in the past but we have a piece of work to do now to come up with a name we can agree that will reflect the name of the new council.

"People will have their own opinion but I think we can navigate our way through that.

"We have discussed this as a party, although we haven't finalised it.

"Given the week we have had with Clipper, I think it would be important to have Derry City in the name."

This has already raised the hackles of unionist councillors who accused Mr Diver of being undemocratic.

Ulster Unionist councillor Derek Hussey said councillor Diver appeared to be trying to short-cut the democratic process over the new council's name.

"This is also about the wider issue of devising a logo that is reflective of the entire district and it is important to remember a major part of the new council is rural hinterland.

"Whether the £30,000 to a consultant is value for money or not will be determined by the results that are produced."

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