Petition launched calling on North Kesteven District Council to halt plans to change its branding

The preferred design for the new NKDC logo, although not yet finalised. EMN-180418-131105001
The preferred design for the new NKDC logo, although not yet finalised. EMN-180418-131105001

A petition has been launched calling for North Kesteven District Council to reconsider its decision to go ahead with rebranding its logo at the cost of £5,000

Mark Suffield, of Sleaford, has registered the ‘epetition’ on NKDC’s website and requires 300 signatures for the council to reconsider and debate the matter.

Mark Suffield. EMN-180205-173438001

Mark Suffield. EMN-180205-173438001

The council agreed on April 26 to go ahead with the change of logo, to the orange and green ‘flourish’ in an effort to more clearly identify it priorities and strategies when communicating with other organisations as well as making it easier to reproduce in print and other media.

Mr Suffield’s petition is called: “Keep The NKDC Logo & Stop Unnecessary Costly Rebranding”

It states: “We the undersigned petition the council to scrap the unnecessary rebranding of North Kesteven District Council (NKDC) as I feel this is a waste of Council Funds.

“If the council will not scrap the rebranding exercise, I would like a consultation with residents with detailed and transparent costings for every part of the project (uniforms, vehicles, buildings, stationery and signage) before any council funds are spent.

Coun Richard Wright - Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-180205-172458001

Coun Richard Wright - Leader of North Kesteven District Council. EMN-180205-172458001

“As a resident of North Kesteven District Council I feel the new logo/rebranding is not required. In the current climate with government cut backs I feel that the unnecessary spend of council funds does not show the residents of the district good value for money. After council tax increases and further predicted funding reductions, I feel that the council should look after its cash and demonstrate how responsible it is going forward.

“I am also concerned that the council will devalue the brand and all the hard work they have demonstrated in the past years may be lost. A good example of this is the stone laid at the Bomber Command Memorial in Lincoln which has the current NKDC logo etched onto it. What does this say less than one month after its opening?”

The ePetition is live until June 12.

Mr Suffield felt the public should be properly consulted, rather than anecdotal evidence. He said that running both logos simultaneously could muddle the brand of the council more and did not believe there would not be waste, saying: “They seem to say, ‘it’s only £5,000, it doesn’t matter’.

“The consultation does not need to cost money, it can be electronic, just as I am doing with this epetition.”

He added: “I have been contacted by a number of people to say they are very disappointed. They feel council rebranding is not a requirement at this time.”

At the council meeting, Leader of the Council, Coun Richard Wright may have alluded to The Standard’s reporting of the matter in his closing remarks before the vote on the new logo. He said: “We can start with the success of an advertising programme. We have a recorded vote going along with outrage from residents. The outrage from residents, which is in small numbers, was created by the fact that a newspaper group decided to post on certain community sites on social media the one item from this agenda tonight that they thought they could get a response on.

“They ignored all the issues and strategies from this evening and good work we are talking about and decided to see if they could play to the public and get them to respond to what they see as a waste of money - so congratulations to the recorded vote for making sure that that newspaper group knows it is successful in its actions when it wants to influence this council.”

He insisted the council was not being wasteful, referring to his request not to issue paper copies of the logo to every member and that much of their documents were electronic, not on paper.

Coun Wright added: “We are not Blue Peter - this is not a colouring exercise, it is not a poster campaign, this is a logo advertising this brand of this council.”

He said they were always trying to attract more attention to the council nationally and get its brand “out there”. He said they “must not miss a trick”.

Coun Wright ended saying: “£5,000 is the amount. Yes, there are some other issues to look at but 10 years ago Lincolnshire County Council spent £40,000 on its branding.”

* The Standard has in fact previously reported prominently on other matters on the council meeting’s agenda including the new Sleaford Moor enterprise park (view here) and North Kesteven’s new cycling strategy (view here).