Should Gloucester be given Royal city status? Consultation feedback

 

Following suggestions made on social media and a debate at a meeting of the city council, people in Gloucester have been asked if they wanted it to petition for royal city status.  

Last month the city council received feedback from one of its most successful public consultations. 514 residents and businesses took part to answer the question – should Gloucester petition to become a royal city?

The results have been reviewed and there were strong opinions both for and against. Although 60 per cent of the people who took part were supportive of the idea of applying for royal status, almost 40 per cent were opposed to the idea.  It is felt that the level of support is not strong enough to pursue the status at this time.

Although there are no set criteria for being successful in petitioning, demonstration of a greater level of support from people in the city is believed to be necessary.

Moving forward the council will focus on responding to some of the specific feedback from the consultation. This will include promoting the city’s heritage and progressing the regeneration programme, both of which are outlined in the new council plan.

Cllr Paul James, leader of Gloucester City Council and cabinet member for regeneration and economy, said: “I was pleased that so many people in the city took part in this consultation. It really does go to show how passionate people are about Gloucester.  There were strong views expressed on both sides of the debate and, if nothing else, the consultation has helped to highlight Gloucester’s rich history.

“Some people felt that we needed to be further along our regeneration journey before looking at applying, whereas others thought our role in the Civil War meant it was not appropriate.  Deciding we are not going to pursue the idea now doesn’t mean it can’t be looked at again, but it’s not something we will be revisiting for the foreseeable future.  If we were to have the best chance of being successful we needed the city to unite around the idea.  As opinion is so split, it is best to concentrate on other priorities.”