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Babergh councillors to consider changing name of district to South Suffolk

After more than 45 years, the name of Babergh could be no more.

That’s because councillors are now set to consider next month whether to change the district authority’s title from Babergh, which it has been known as since its formation in April 1974, to South Suffolk.

The administration says the new name would create parity with the neighbouring authorities of Mid Suffolk, West Suffolk and East Suffolk, respectively, while removing confusion caused by the current moniker.

Babergh District Council, Endeavour House (17039224)
Babergh District Council, Endeavour House (17039224)

Members will have to agree to the resolution at the specially-convened meeting on Tuesday, October 22 by a two-thirds majority for the name change to move forward.

If this succeeds, notice of the change must then be submitted to the Secretary of State, the Director General, the Ordnance Survey and the Registrar General for final approval.

The current name is derived from the old Babergh Hundred administrative division, with the word having roots in the Domesday Book.

Cllr John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council said: “Babergh has a proud history, but we know that people from further afield are often unaware of exactly where Babergh is and even struggle over its pronunciation.

“By renaming to South Suffolk we can be clear about who we are, where we are and what we represent – as well as clearly identifying the council, it will also align with the name of our parliamentary constituency, cutting down on any confusion.”

A spokeswoman added that costs of implementing the change will be kept to a minimum, and agreeing to it now will give time for it to appear on council tax bills for 2020/21.

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