Council rebrand ‘a waste of cash’

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WIGAN’s cash-strapped council is to undergo a rebrand.

A new corporate logo leaked to the Wigan Evening Post will replace the old one, which was introduced in 1999, and the Wigan Life rebrand, which took place just a few years ago.

Council bosses say the new logo, which was designed by council officers, won’t cost extra money to introduce.

And they say that using one logo in future – instead of a series of logos for different departments – will actually end up saving cash.

But the leader of the opposition on the authority today attacked the scheme as “pointless”, and said it should not be carried out while the council was proposing closing swimming pools or day centres, because of Government spending cuts.

The scheme is part of the council’s new communications strategy, designed to “protect and build” its reputation in the eyes of local people.

The strategy says the use of one logo will prevent confusion, and help ensure the council is seen as a single organisation with a strong sense of identity.

It says: “The reputation of the council is strongly influenced by well-planned and well-executed communications.

“The more informed our residents are, the more likely they are to think the council is doing a good job. The challenging financial environment in which we, and our communities, now find ourselves, makes effective communications more important than ever.

“Our communication strategy is intended to provide a consistent approach to what we say, how and when we say it while in addition, helping us to set a clear direction for communications and highlight the importance we place on good communication.”

Council deputy chief executive Donna Hall said that council currently uses “many different sub-brands,” including l From front page

the Wigan Life brand in blue and green, with the heart and the maroon logo.

It now wants to have just one logo throughout.

She said: “There will be no additional costs incurred through introducing the new logo, and by using just one, we believe it will result in a financial saving for us.

“Feedback from the public shows that they like the more modern Life brand, so we have turned this into the council’s identity.

“It was designed in-house, and will only be used when items that carry the old logo reach the end of their lifespan and need to be replaced.”

But opposition chief slammed the rebrand, and called for a re-think.

Independent Group leader Coun Gary Wilkes said: “The Independent Group members are outraged that in these hard financial times, Wigan Council is rebranding itself.

“I don’t believe for one minute this exercise is at very little cost to the council taxpayer.

“What also saddens us is that this decision should have gone to full council to debate, and it should be up to the councillors to decide if hard-earned council tax money should be spent on rebranding the council.

“This council is closing swimming pools, day centres, libraries and art centres, but can find money to waste on a pointless smoke and mirrors exercise.”