Guido Fawkes reports that Southwark Council have spent £15,400 on a new logo which is almost indistinguishable from the old one. Despite complaining about funding cuts, the council found £6,819 for designing the new logo and a further £8,581 to spend on implementation.
Justifying the project, the ‘Branding Refresh’ report claims the logo has been "redrawn" to "improve its quality, reduce the size of the ‘S’ and make it more legible" as well as removing a full stop. It takes a keen eye to spot these changes on the new design (click here to have a go).
Council Leader Peter John defended the splurge, insisting that "sometimes you have to invest to save", though could not make clear what savings the new design will bring. He added that they had not wasted as much as their Liberal Democrat predecessors, who splashed out £42,238 on 'branding refreshes' while in office.
In stark contrast to the frivolous expense, Southwark Council have recently made cuts to many vital services. In 2015, the council cut 200 jobs as well as £17m from the Children’s and Adult’ Social Care budget. Last month the Council announced a 2% hike in council tax, at the same time as a 50% funding cut to youth services.
Defending the hike at the time, Southwark Council’s cabinet member for finance, Fiona Colley, said the council would “spend every penny as if it were our own.” Local residents, many of whom do not earn £15,400 a year, may disagree with the council's priorities.
Harry Davis, Campaign Manager at the TaxPayers' Alliance:
"This level of vanity spending on a logo is a slap in the face to all local residents who stump up their council tax each year. Barely a week goes by without one council or another complaining about cuts to their budgets, claiming there are no more savings to be made but this just goes to prove that it is not always the case. Councils should be focusing on frontline services and helping hard-pressed families by keeping council tax down, not giving themselves makeovers."