COLCHESTER Council leaders could be ordered to re-examine a move to brand the town as Britain’s First City.

At a meeting last month, the council’s Cabinet agreed plans to change the town’s slogan from Oldest Recorded Town.

However, the decision sparked huge debate among the public and prompted concerned councillors to demand the bid be reviewed.

Five Tory councillors signed a call-in request and the matter will now go before the council’s scrutiny panel on Friday.

The call-in process can only be used when councillors believe procedural rules have been breached and a list of reasons must be submitted.

The list of five reasons include a lack of evidence the change was needed, a lack of consultation and failing to consider a recommendation from heritage experts.

Lewis Barber, who submitted the call-in, also said there was no openness over the decision.


The call-in letter described it as a “pre-determined decision”.

But the council’s monitoring officer has rejected claims this is proved by signs with the new slogan being approved and ordered before Cabinet made its decision.

A report, set to go before the panel, said: “The text that is struck out was not deemed a valid reason.”

Residents will be able to attend the meeting due to start at 6pm in Colchester Town Hall and will be able to voice their views.

But they will only be able to debate the reasons given in the call-in document.

The options available to the panel include confirming the decision taken by Cabinet, referring the decision back to Cabinet for further consideration or sending it to full council if councillors find it does not follow policy.

Residents who are unable to attend can email their comments to

For more information or to view the documents, go to