<p>An artist’s impression of what it will look like </p>

An artist’s impression of what it will look like

gov.uk

Politicians are meant to represent the concerns of the people and conjure up to intelligent policies to allay societal ills. On a local level, this is no different, and indeed many argue that it is at the grassroots where real change can be achieved. Just look at Tiger Patel.

So thank goodness a Conservative led council has its finger firmly on the pulse and has approved plans to colour its town hall blue.

Yes, Darlington Borough Council’s cabinet approved these changes as part of a £20,000 makeover of the local authority and opposition parties have accused the Tories of choosing their party colours, something those behind the plan deny.

An official report from the council said: “An enhancement to an exterior council chamber wall (facing the market square) has been identified as an upfront cost as part of the implementation. This is estimated to be £20k and will be managed through the Corporate Landlord budget.”

Conservative deputy leader and fan of the project Jonathan Dulston told indy100 that the building had been “declining” and the changes would help the council be perceived as “modern” and “forward thinking”.

“Just to dispel the myth, this isn’t a Tory blue paint,” he said. “It’s actually a teal colour which is quite away from what the opposition have said is Tory blue,” he added and said the colour matched other town brandings.

He confirmed the £20,000 estimate but said “we will be getting that price down as much as possible.”

“We think it’s important that we go back to our heritage and showcase some of our history in terms of what’s happening in 2025. So we’re going back to the crest, but a modern version of it.”

But others are not so keen. Labour shadow portfolio holder Nick Wallis said the "botched rebranding" could lead to long-term damage to the council's reputation.

"They are fixated with PR and the promotion of themselves at all costs," he said.

"They don't care about wasting public money if they believe it advances their political interests."

Liberal Democrat group leader Anne Marie Curry said the town hall needed to remain a politically neutral colour and there was a "massive palette of colours they could choose from".

And Matthew Snedker, the council’s Green Party leader said: "There's nothing wrong with refreshing the appearance of any organisation, but we have very serious concerns this is blatantly branding what should be an independent organisation in Tory blue. We have already seen the coronavirus publicity in blue and council buildings paintwork changed to blue. If the council is linked to the Conservative Party by the rebrand then it tars the council itself with the same brush of all the political party's decisions.”

And people on social media were similarly unimpressed:

Dulston said that when the plan was approved last night “it was clarified that the colour was in line with other brands the Council use and that it wasn’t a political statement”.

Still funny, though.

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