As Town Council considers new logo, Trust sheds some light on Wilmslow's Coat of Arms


As reported on in October, Wilmslow Town Council is looking to have a new logo created to replace the current coat of arms and provide them with a new identity.

Councillors felt that the coat of arms, which is used to to acknowledge the Town Council's involvement in projects and on banners promoting their events etc, doesn't stand out very well - particularly compared to other logos.

They agreed at their December meeting that the creation of the new website should include the development of a new Council logo for inclusion on the website.

Whilst discussing the new website at their meeting on Monday, 15th January, the subject of redesigning the Town Council's logo was raised.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith said "We currently have an existing logo, looking at it we have no idea what it means. We know we inherited it from Macclesfield's time so we also want to ask Wilmslow Civic Trust whether they can make any light of the meaning might be as well."

Cllr Angela McPake commented "We have no idea for example why we have a bears head on the Wilmslow Coat of Arms."

Speaking about the Wilmslow Coat of Arms, Raymond Acton of Wilmslow Civic Trust told me "The bear refers to the Brereton family, once Lords of the Manor in Handforth. It is above the crown that came from the Gregs. Beneath it are two wreaths of cotton .... our local industry.

"The arms, or rather armour, represented by a closed helm (helmet). The three sheaves of corn (very common on Cheshire coats of arms) come from the Earls of Chester (probably 13th century). In this case however they are on a blue and white background, the wavy lines representing the Bollin and the Dean. And the motto translates as 'A Happy Dwelling Place for Us'."

Several options for alternative logos are being worked up and will be run past Wilmslow Town Council.

Cllr Frank McCarthy said "It does need doing. The coat of arms itself is a beautiful piece of artwork and its historic but when people look at it it is not obvious at all what it is.

"I've been looking at various other town councils and frankly the one I have seen and I would propose is ever so simple. You'd have our coat of arms and just Wilmslow Town Council written next to it. Simple as that."

However, Cllr Christopher Dodson was not in agreement saying "I would be very strongly opposed to any change in the logo or any expenditure of money on it. I think that would be seriously mistaken step to take."

Responding to the fact that it was agreed at last month’s meeting that £5000 be allocated to this project to cover the design of a new logo as well as the website, Cllr Dodson added "It’s deeply regrettable and I think it will be very unpopular."

What do you think of the current Coat of Arms, shown above, and plans to adopt a new logo for Wilmslow Town Council? Please share your views via the comment box below.

Wilmslow Coat of Arms, Wilmslow Town Council


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Alan Brough
Friday 19th January 2018 at 1:01 pm
How about a brown envelope in a gauntlet and an excavator rampant?

Only joking.
David Woodcock
Friday 19th January 2018 at 1:15 pm
A steaming coffee cup surrounded by a selection of fashionable ladies shoes.
Julian Barlow
Friday 19th January 2018 at 1:16 pm
Cllr Dodson is correct, If WTC spend £5000 on something so frivolous, particularly at the moment, they'll show themselves to be as out of touch as CEC.

A Facebook page can be set up free of charge, it can be regularly and easily updated without any specialist skills and provides a great way to market a brand, make announcements and interact with the public, all with little or no cost.

As for the logo, if a redesign is considered to be essential, a good, local graphic designer would do this for a fraction of the proposed cost.

Better still, turn it into a competition and invite schools and local businesses to create a new logo. This could all be done via a Facebook page.
Nick Jones
Friday 19th January 2018 at 1:53 pm
Much as the web site is in need of update and Cllr Goldsmith is on the ball with that, Just simplify the existing image and make it monochrome / bold.. Job done for virtually no cost !
Friday 19th January 2018 at 2:18 pm
I like the history behind the exisitng logo - stick with what we have got - it is free.
Pete Taylor
Friday 19th January 2018 at 2:30 pm
An oak tree, with £20 notes instead of leaves?
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 19th January 2018 at 2:39 pm
Just to clarify:

a) £5,000 includes the new design and build of the council web site plus annual hosting, maintenance, training in the new software, new photography and new council logo. As a senior marketing professional with an MBA, I know this is great value for money.

b) Facebook is not suitable for many reasons including: it is too restrictive for design, branding, layout and ease of use (for both administrators and users). Facebook also owns and controls the page (try getting them to give you tech help). So if Facebook wants to change anything or run updates, we have absolutely no control over it. Plus we have too much information and too many links to other sites for it to ever be viable.

c) Yes, we could hold a competition to get school children or amateurs to design the new web site, but there is an reason why nobody ever does this (even schools). There is also a similar reason why Universities teach graphic design.

d) The current web site software is very difficult to keep updated. Plus the user experience is very poor - pages are cluttered, hard to navigate, go to dead links, and key information is missing. Just changing a few pictures will not alter this. It really needs a complete overhaul.

The council is often criticised for lagging behind with its technology and now we get criticised for updating our technology. It really is a no win situation.

However, the towns web site is almost our only tool to communicate with the public. Not only our local residents but also a surprisingly high number of people from around the world who also visit our web site. Therefore, it is imperative we present the town in a positive light, keep visitors informed of what we are doing and allow them to quickly find the information they were looking for.

Cllr Mark Goldsmith WTC (Residents of Wilmslow)
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 19th January 2018 at 2:52 pm
PS I should of added the total cost of our new web site is only 0.67% of what Cheshire East spent last year on the poor recruitment, governance and discipline of its senior managers.

Alternatively, we could have 148 new WTC web sites for the amount they blew on garden leave in this financial year alone.
Terry Roeves
Friday 19th January 2018 at 4:26 pm
Cllr Goldsmith’s Information is most helpful and does Residents of Wilmslow does great justice for clear facts. Ask a question, then get a clear answer, the value of which has escaped CEC.
Julian Barlow
Friday 19th January 2018 at 4:29 pm
Mark Goldsmith- The Council, quite justifiably, get criticised for spending money on fripperies that appear, from a public perspective, to offer little or no value for money.

Whether or not a 5 grand website overhaul of the WTC website represents good value for money to the public is open to debate, MBA or not. Whether it is perceived by the public as a sound investment of their money is quite another thing.

Facebook is used with great effect by Coca Cola, Ford, Virgin, Toyota, Walmart and thousands of other businesses who miraculously manage to communicate multiple messages to a global market. I'm sure its good enough for WTC.

If public communication is a genuine priority, then social media is a far more flexible, appropriate and interactive experience when wishing to communicate with (rather that to) the public.
Mark Goldsmith
Friday 19th January 2018 at 7:00 pm
@Julian Barlow:

I am not saying Facebook or social media is not worthwhile, I am saying it is not a substitute for a web site. The two are just not interchangeable. All of the companies you mention have their own web site AND a Facebook page. None of them would have a Facebook page INSTEAD of their web site though, which is what you were advocating.

As you mentioned "Coca Cola", if you Google them then the top search is their own web site.Their Facebook page is a lowly 19th, which tells you which one is their most used communication tool. Facebook has around half the UK population signed up, so why would WTC want to only access half the population with its communications?

Of course we can have a Web Site, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and an Instagram one too, but we would have to hire someone to manage them all, which would doubtless raise more complaints.

Unless of course you want to volunteer to run them for us? You advocate we use peoples free time and goodwill instead of spending anything, so how about it?
Oliver Romain
Friday 19th January 2018 at 11:17 pm
£5k is way out of touch with the market for these services. Get on People per Hour. Website £500 and logo £50.
Dave Cash
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 12:18 am
@Mark, WTC are not asking CEC to fund the web upgrade. but the precept payers of Wilmslow.
WTC has a short memory. Their proposal to spend around £10K on Chairman Regalia because 'it would be a perm. Asset for the Town', when they could not locate the earlier WUDC Regalia. It received a similar public backlash to current proposal and never implemented.
The full-colour Coat of Arms logo may confer some kudos but an acknowledgement only needs a monochrome statement eg supported by Wilmslow Town Council.
Julian Barlow
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 9:28 am
Mark Goldsmith- The fundamental difference as that Coca Cola do not fund their website or the development thereof from the public purse, specifically during a time of austerity, service cuts and tax increases. Its the timing that's inappropriate.

Its rather like lending money to a friend who can't pay their mortgage only to find they've used the money to pay for a holiday.

Here's a simple question, from the many comments and letters of concern posted to this and other local websites, how many members of the public are clamouring for a new WTC logo?

My intention is to create a social media page which will provide a public forum to discuss issues such as this. I hope to have the page up and running next month.
Oliver Romain
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 12:03 pm
It is illegal for WTC to issue grants with marketing or sponsorship obligations or conditions. Grants are not part of WTC’s marketing budget. If the event is worth issuing a grant to you don’t need WTC logos and it is illegal anyway.
WTC should act within the law.
Mark Goldsmith
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 4:26 pm
So, to simplify things:

1) Does WTC Need a Web Site?
We could use other alternatives to a web site (Facebook, Town Notice Board, Newsletters, Adverts etc) some of which could be cheaper. But like nearly every Parish Council in the country, the answer is undoubtedly Yes, WTC does need a web site. It has had one for 5 years and it is regularly used but the overwhelming opinion is that it needs updating (not mobile compatible, missing information, hard to navigate etc).

2) Does WTC Have the Skills to Build and Run Its Own Web Site?
The answer is No. Your WTC councillors give their time for free but this doesn’t include them learning to become web development experts too. Therefore:

3) We Have to Buy In the Expertise.
This means finding someone to provide the necessary web software, design, build, transfer of existing data, software training, hosting, security and maintenance of the site too. We have spent over 6 months analysing our current web site, its structure, the features the new site should have and researching suitable companies to provide it all. Will “People Per Hour” be there to fix our web site on a Bank Holiday if it gets hacked? Highly unlikely. Also buying services piecemeal is difficult to co-ordinate and if it goes wrong, each party just blames the other, leaving WTC to fix the problem. So, buying individual services isn’t a viable solution. Nor is doing it ourselves. Therefore we have to use a credible web development company that can provide it all for us.

4) Is This Project “Good Value” for Money?
The chosen web development company specialises in building and running web sites for schools, universities and councils and was the lowest price. Given other quotes we received (some from suppliers who also work for other leading Wilmslow institutions) then Yes, it is excellent value for the services we need to buy.

I know people like to moan when the council spends your money, but the reality is that if we are to provide the services you want, at the quality you want, then we do have to spend some money. It is imperative we spend it in a careful and transparent manner and get great value too. This means buying at the most cost-effective price. It doesn't mean buying at the cheapest price possible as this is often unfeasible or a false economy.

Therefore, I hope you see why we requested this money and that it was not done without due diligence. I also look forward to developing the new web site for the town, which should be up and running this Spring.
Manuel Golding
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 7:26 pm
To sum up -
Is the current WTC website in need of updating? Yes
Can WTC get by without a web site? It could.
Would that be helpful to those who do not use any misnamed 'social media' formats? No
Assuming the WTC website needs updating, will that be of enhanced assistance to viewers?
Is the cost of £5000 value for money & will be beneficial to Wilmslow? I believe Yes,it will be.
Matthew Butler
Saturday 20th January 2018 at 10:34 pm
The whole thing seems somewhat excessive?

I can't help feeling that these companies make their money by selling packaged deals (added value) to organisations who just want everything taken care of and are therefore sometimes taken for a ride. I have produced a website in an evening before now. Obviously the content was significantly less but it shouldn't take long!

The list of features Mark Goldsmith has described as necessary are:

Web software - does this refer to a purchase of a package?

Design/build - fair enough

Transfer of existing data - there doesn't seem to be a lot of content on the existing site (one of the reasons for its replacement?) and nothing that looks like it would require a lot of effort to move.

Software training - Really? Is it so complicated that training is required? If so then it probably isn't a sensible choice of software being used. The council must have at least one technologically competent member or employee capable of using WordPress or a similar CMS.

On going hosting of the site - an unavoidable expense but shouldn't be expensive. Since this is a use of public funds on an ongoing basis should it not be tendered regularly?

Security and maintenance of the site - I can't imagine that a modern site which (I assume) won't have any sensitive data stored will require a huge amount of security updates, and is the council planning to request changes and updates to it often once introduced?

You give the example of fixing the site if it has been hacked into on a Bank Holiday. This isn't JK Rowling's novel 'A casual vacancy! Why would anyone want to hack into it? If you mean an attack on the site, either attempt to infect users of the site or bring it down, it would only take a call to the hosting company (any decent one should have a web portal for this) to take the site offline it could wait until the next working day to be restored. With no offence intended, WTS is not providing any essential services - I don't believe it has any obligation to have a website, so it wouldn't matter if it was offline for a Bank holiday!

Maintenance and security would probably be cheaper on an adhoc pay-as-you-go basis.

This whole thing screams of the regalia saga to me.
John Gibbons
Sunday 21st January 2018 at 8:22 am
Think we should have a big Range Rover parked on the pavement.
Pete Taylor
Sunday 21st January 2018 at 9:03 am
This company appear to be experienced specialists in the field:

Their charges appear reasonable.
Nick Jones
Sunday 21st January 2018 at 10:29 am
I would rather see £5k spent on this than reindeer and wildflower meadows on Mill Street !

Whilst the facebook page can be sorted fairly swiftly and linked to the web page, it is the latter that would benefit the town and its many visitors and provide a great window for the town. I have confidence in Cllr Goldsmiths judgement on this matter.

(Not so CEC cllrs ...when it comes to their fiscal fritterings on a grand scale of our tax dollars well documented on these pages !.)
Ade Whitaker
Sunday 21st January 2018 at 1:18 pm
I thought plans were afoot for a Town Crier - so do we need all this high tech stuff like websites?
Stuart Redgard
Monday 22nd January 2018 at 6:00 pm
The current logo used by Wilmslow Town Council is that of the former Wilmslow Urban District Council.

The national Archives Records state that "Wilmslow Local Board was formed in 1878 from the urban portions of Bollin Fee, Fulshaw and Pownall Fee townships. It became an urban district in 1895, and its boundaries were extended in 1936 to include most of Styal civil parish formed from the rural portions of Pownall Fee in 1895 and Handforth civil parish and urban district from 1904"

Wilmslow Urban District Council (WUDC) was disbanded in 1974 following the passing of "Local Government Act 1972" which came into force on 1st April 1974. All of it's duties were transferred to the newly created Macclesfield Borough Council.

Wilmslow Parish Council (latter renamed Town Council) first met in May 2011.

The decision to use the logo of the defunct WUDC was taken by the council at their meeting of 19th September 2011.

The minutes of the meeting state.
Cllr Glover proposed that the Urban District Council logo/coat of arms be adopted.
Cllr Shepherd seconded the proposal.

It was RESOLVED that the Council should adopt the Urban District Council logo/coat of arms. 9 in favour, 3 against.

Personally i think it is time for Wilmslow Town Council to have its own unique logo.

I would suggest the logo designed by a Wilmslow based marketing agency call "The Raft"
which was commissioned by the Wilmslow Business Group as a Logo that could be used for ALL Wilmslow based orgaisations.



Steve Kennedy of Mail Boxes etc on Water Lane can provide more background on the development of this logo and the ideas behind it.

This logo has now been Formally adopted by The WIlmslow Neighbourhood Plan Group.
John Featherstone
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 4:42 pm
the brown envelope gets my vote ( classic)
Barry Buxton
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 6:52 pm
Who cares! An irrelevant issue for an irrelevant organisation.
Robert Bracegirdle
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 7:28 pm
The Urban District Council one is traditional and has connections with the past. Keep it, but EXPLAIN it!
Christine McClory
Wednesday 24th January 2018 at 8:03 pm
Logo? Website? I agree with Councillor Dobson. Keep the logo we have... as explained by Ray Acton, it is relevant to our history. Perhaps we should have an explanation of it on the website to make sure that we stay firmly in touch with our roots.
New web site? Yes, of course. But look at the price. It can be done a lot cheaper than £5,000, particularly if we're not looking to pay for a redesigning of a historic logo.
What do people want? The Rex Cinema reinstated....... follow Rex Revival on Facebook.
Any spare cash should go into this.
Marc Staples
Saturday 27th January 2018 at 5:10 pm
A brown envelope is far to common for Wilmslow how about a bulging white envelope a tin of grease and a palm tree
That would signify how CEC make their local decisions and ride roughshod over local opinions.
Deleted Account
Monday 29th January 2018 at 7:38 pm
Hello Barry,

Maybe its because they are not sequential but we can't understand your comments.

You say :

" ...An irrelevant issue for an irrelevant organisation."

Can you clarify exactly what parts are irrelevant and why ?

Thank you,

Martin K