Luton Misses Out On City Status
14 March 2012, 12:03
Luton has failed in its bid to become a city in the Queen's Diamond Jubilee year.
Instead the honour has gone to Chelmsford in Essex, Perth in Scotland and St Asaph in North Wales.
Milton Keynes, Corby in Northamptonshire and the favourite - Reading in Berkshire - also missed out. St Albans, Hertfordshire, had applied to become a Lord Mayoralty, to give the city a Lord Mayor, but this honour went to Armagh in Northern Ireland instead.
Hazel Simmonds, the leader of Luton Borough Council told Heart she was disappointed but says the bid was about more than just winning:
"Obvoiulsy if we could have got city status that would have been fantastic but a lot of the agenda was about improving the image of Luton and we move on to the next stage now"
She thinks the bid has shown the town has a lot to offer visitors and business.
The awards have been made by The Queen on advice from the Deputy Prime Minister and Lord President of the Privy Council, Nick Clegg. The award of city status or a Lord Mayoralty is an honour bestowed by The Queen only on rare occasions.
The Deputy Prime Minister said: "Congratulations to Armagh, Chelmsford, Perth and St Asaph who have been granted these rare honours from a field of exceptional entrants.
"Across the United Kingdom, I have been moved by the pride and passion which people have shown in putting their nominations forward.”
“The standard of application was very high, and those who missed out should not be downhearted. I hope the competition has given the residents of all of the places which applied a sense of civic pride, of collective ownership and of community spirit.”
The Queen will formally confer the titles of city status and Lord Mayoralty by Letters Patent in due course.
The awards of city status and Lord Mayoralty or Provostship are purely honorific and confer no additional powers, functions or funding. The last civic honours competition was held in 2002 to mark the Golden Jubilee when Preston, Stirling, Newport, Lisburn and Newry were awarded city status and Exeter was awarded a Lord Mayoralty.
Here is the full list of towns who applied to become cities in 2012