NEW signs for a Herefordshire town could have left people thinking it was declaring independence, a local councillor warned.

Bromyard and Winslow Town Council was being shown new designs for the banners on lampposts along the A44.

The current signs do not fit the town's new branding, consultant Jayne Bradley-Ghosh said, and some of the £90,000 Great Places to Visit government funding would be used to update them.


Presenting five different options to councillors at Monday's full meeting, including the choice to keep the current banners, the proposed designs were met with mixed opinions by councillors.

Two, Coun Gill Churchill and Coun Liam Holman, said they did not like any, and Coun Clare Davies suggested that the current banners are kept instead.


The proposed new banners for Bromyard Bypass

The proposed new banners for Bromyard Bypass


But it was Coun Jonathan Lester who pointed out what he thought was a big flaw in the option the council decided to go for.

The design includes the key words and phrases independent, rooted, authentic, town of festivals, heart in the community and over 1,200 years old.

But Coun Lester said the word "independent" could leave people thinking Bromyard had declared independence.


He said: "I assume by independent you mean independent traders, is that the concept?

"I just don't want us to have a sign declaring independence for Bromyard.

"It might be a good idea, and I know it's been talked about in the past, but without the context, it might think we're campaigning for the independence of Bromyard from the West Midlands, I don't know.

"Advertising the fact Bromyard has got independent traders is, I think, a virtue and one of the things that's attractive about Bromyard.

"You've got independent businesses that don't exist elsewhere and I think that's a virtue, but it's how you capture that without making it sound like we're wanting to make Bromyard independent from wherever."


The Great Places to Visit fund aims to make Bromyard more appealing to visitors. Picture: Rob Davies

The Great Places to Visit fund aims to make Bromyard more appealing to visitors. Picture: Rob Davies


Taking his concerns on board, the town council opted to change the banner which says "independent" to "independent traders".

The signs, which also have yellow at the top and bottom, will still need to clear a hurdle with Herefordshire Council.


There is some uncertainty about whether the yellow will be allowed as it could be mistaken for a traffic sign.

The Government-backed project will be complete by September 15 when Mrs Bradley-Ghosh said there would be tours of the completed work, which should include new signage and artwork.

The money can only be spent on measures which aim to increase footfall and that make the town more legible and attractive to local residents and tourists to the area.

Part of the project is the new branding for the town, with the controversial backwards D dropped from the town's name after a backlash.