Should it be Hyndburn or Accrington?

First published in News Blackburn Citizen: Photograph of the Author by

A COUNCIL wants to change its name - because bosses say it is time to "drop the dead donkey".

Officials at Hyndburn Council say they spend too much time having to explain where they represent when trying to attract investment to the borough.

They are are considering re-branding themselves as Accrington and Districts Council in a bid to create a clearer identity.

The move is being touted as part of the borough's renaissance' as it forges ahead with a series of redevelopment projects, including the Church and Oswaldtwistle Gateway scheme, housing market renewal and the regeneration of Accrington town centre.

Council leader, Coun Peter Britcliffe, said: "Since we were saddled with the name of Hyndburn when local government was reorganised 33 years ago, we have been trying to sell a dead donkey - and we've failed. Nobody has a clue where Hyndburn is.

"But what we do have is a collection of townships, each with their own character and history, and people who are fiercely proud of where they live.

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"We want to promote our townships. It is time to drop the dead donkey."

Under outline plans, the borough's five main towns - Accrington, Great Harwood, Rishton, Clayton-le-Moors and Oswaldtwistle - would have their own crests, which would then appear on the council's logo. These crests, based on original coats of arms and mayoral badges, could also appear on signs at the town's borders.

Coun Britcliffe added: "When a civil servant, probably down south, decided to group us all together and call us Hyndburn they wiped the individual areas and their history off the map. It is time to put them back."

Vladimir Pejcinovic, bus-iness development officer for the council, said: "We have lost the historical identity of the whole area, and those of the individual towns have been swallowed up and suppressed by that of Hyndburn."

Former mayor, Coun Dr Mohamed Rahman, said he had had to explain where the borough was many times while out on official mayoral duties, but added: "Everybody knew where Accrington was because of Accrington Stanley."

Hyndburn MP Greg Pope said there was some merit in the plans.

He said: "As MP for the area I am always having to explain where my constit-uency is.

"I would like to see a name that gives power to the towns other than Accrington.

"Accrington and Districts Council has a bit of a 1920s ring to it and doesn't give any power to the outlying areas."

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