Campaign promoting county is 'insulting'

County MPs have called the £1.3m campaign to re-brand Northamptonshire as North Londonshire "ridiculous, insulting and a complete waste of money".

Over the next two years advertisements will be plastered over the London Underground and heard on radio programmes in the capital encouraging city-dwellers to leave London and move to "North Londonshire".

The campaign, which will be 45 per cent funded by taxpayers, has been put together by the North Northants Development Corporation to promote the county as a place to live.

The advertisements sell Northamptonshire as having more room than London, being less than an hour away from St Pancras Station and having cheap house prices.

Brian Binley, Conservative MP for Northampton South, branded the campaign an "absolute disgrace".

He said: "I have constantly fought against the plans to re-brand the town and county's image.

"I don't believe the people of Northamptonshire wish to be simply considered as an extension of London. Many people are proud of Northamptonshire and I am one of them. The campaign is disgraceful, insulting and a complete waste of money."

Sally Keeble, Labour MP for Northampton North, agreed. She said: "It's absolutely ridiculous. Of course Northampton needs inward investment and we want to encourage skilled people to come here, to work and to build up our town but to call it North Londonshire, when everyone knows there is no such place, is completely ridiculous and a complete waste of public money.

"It's quite insulting and also doesn't actually do the job it's supposed to do. If it's supposed to promote Northamptonshire as a county it's not doing that . . . it's just promoting the north of the county by saying we are less than an hour away from St Pancras, when everyone knows trains serving the south of the county go to Euston."

The two-year advertising campaign will be paid for by both housing developers and the public sector, with 584,000 coming from taxpayers.

A website has been launched to promote the campaign at www.northlondonshire.co.uk.

Campaign promoting county is 'insulting'

By Helen Buckingham

Chronicle Reporter

helen.buckingham@northantsnews.co.uk

One of the advertising posters for Northamptonshire, or North Londonshire as it now known