Council cabinet votes to make bid for City Status despite significant opposition

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WARRINGTON Borough Council’s Cabinet has tonight (Monday) unanimously voted to put in another bid for City Status as part of the Queen’s Jubilee competition.

The decision has been made by the Labour-controlled cabinet members despite significant opposition from members of the public following an online survey.

One of the first to welcome the news was Lib Dem leader Cllr Bob Barr, who said: “I am delighted that the Warrington Borough Council Cabinet has just voted unanimously to put an application into the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Competition for the award of City Status.

“I very much hope that everyone, whether they wanted to bid or not, now gets behind this bid and contributes to the discussion on why Warrington richly deserves City Status.”
Meanwhile, two online petitions have been set up opposing city status while the council’s own online survey attracted just over 1,000 responses which Cllr Bowden pointed out represented less than half a percent of the borough’s population.

The online survey in which respondents were asked to rate their agreement with the predicted benefits of city status showed an overall leaning against.
An analysis of the responses showed, however, that people under 25 were more likely to agree or strongly agree with the benefits of city status, those aged over 55 were more likely to disagree or strongly disagree.

A total of 548 open text responses were received, the majority of which were “negative” towards the city status application, followed by “neutral” and then “positive.”

Town leaders

Cllr Russ Bowden

Cllr Bowden, said prior to the meeting: “I have watched with interest as other towns have put themselves forward as part of the competition – which is a rare and prestigious honour – and it is something we ought to consider for Warrington.

“Bidding for city status would be a reflection of Warrington’s heritage, civic pride and economic might, but before we take a final decision on submitting a city status bid we want to hear from businesses, residents and communities.

“We have already held some discussions with partners across Warrington, which have been very positive and given us plenty to consider, but we also want to make sure we give residents and groups the opportunity to share their views, too.

“Warrington has been on a journey since its inception as a new town and has so much to be proud of. It’s a unique place that blends together tradition and heritage, is a place of sector-leading knowledge and expertise, is home to community-centred, world-class events and has an outstanding charity and voluntary sector.

“These are the components that collectively make Warrington thrive. We want to bring these key themes together to help us consider whether to formally bid for city status, and of course resident feedback is an important, valuable part of this process.”

Warrington has twice previously failed with bids for city status, once as a City for Peace and once as a City of Culture- members of the controlling Labour group and supporters will be hoping it is third time lucky.

Town leaders look set to bid for city status – despite significant opposition


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Experienced journalist for more than 40 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with three in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Director Warrington Chamber of Commerce Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

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