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'Totally ridiculous' - Council defends spending £20,000 on HQ logo and signs

PUBLISHED: 16:47 16 January 2019 | UPDATED: 17:00 16 January 2019

An artist's impression the councils Riverside headquarters. Photo: Waveney District Council.

An artist's impression the councils Riverside headquarters. Photo: Waveney District Council.

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A council leader has defended its decision to spend more than £20,000 updating signage at its headquarters with a new logo after it was branded a "waste of tax payers' money".

Leader of Waveney District Council Mark Bee.Leader of Waveney District Council Mark Bee.

Waveney and Suffolk Coastal District councils will be formally dissolved on April 1, and replaced by the East Suffolk District Council.

Part of the changeover will see all council signs, buildings and vehicles bearing the Waveney or Suffolk Coastal logos replaced.

The new council will spend an estimated £16,955 to replace and install the new logo at its Riverside and Melton headquarters, along with four customer service buildings around the district.

While an additional £3,840 was paid to Southwold agency Spring for the concept and design of the logo, which depicts a compass facing east.

Waveney resident Michael Brammall branded the move as a “sheer waste of council tax payer’s money while Richard Poynton called the cost “totally ridiculous”.

Mark Bee of Waveney District Council defended the decision and said the new signs are a necessary cost of a new ‘super district’ council which will ultimately save millions.

He said: “There is a lot of work going in to creating the new organisation and there are some things that simply have to be achieved. Like changing the signs.

“Waveney and Suffolk Coastal have been working together, streamlining operations and reducing costs, while providing high quality frontline services for over 10 years now and in that time we have made efficiency savings of over £22m.

“Therefore any concerns about the costs relating to creating the new organisation need to be balanced against the money that we have actually been saving since 2008.

“£20,000 to make necessary changes is incredibly small in relation to over £20 million-worth of savings achieved so far.”

Plans to install a 2.7m x 3.4m sign at the Riverside headquarters in Lowestoft have been approved. However, the council is currently unable to reveal the total cost of changing the remaining signage.

A spokesman added: “Other signage will be replaced as part of normal operational procedures during the course of the following year, or stickered and not as part of the initial change over on April 1, 2019, to keep costs to a minimum.”

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