Dorchester applies for city status

First published in News by

DORSET’S historic county town of Dorchester has applied to become a city.

One town in England will gain city status to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee next year.

There can only be one winner in the City Status Competition and community leaders in the town believe Dorchester has got what it takes to scoop the first prize.

Town councillors’ unanimously agreed to enter a submission for Dorchester at a policy committee meeting held on Tuesday evening.

City status does not apply automatically on the basis of any particular criteria, although it was traditionally given to towns with diocesan cathedrals.

However in the 20th century it was recognised that city status in England and Wales would no longer be bound by the presence of a cathedral.

Town clerk Dennis Holmes, speaking at the meeting, said: “This is a real opportunity and Dorchester could put a strong case – we tick a lot of the boxes.”

He added that it would not cost any more to run Dorchester as a city than it does running it as a town.

Mr Holmes said the only additional expenditure would arise from modifying the signage in the town.

The town crier, Alistair Chisholm, said: “London, Paris, New York and Dorchester – it rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?

“If it has got to be a place that has a long history then Dorchester certainly qualifies.

“Dorchester is growing and we have strong royal connections. If there is going to be a competition, I think we are certainly deserving of city status.”

Mayor of Dorchester Les Phillips, whose role would be elevated to Lord Mayor shoud Dorchester be successful, added: “I think it’s an excellent chance for Dorchester to really be put on the map.

“I think they will look favourably at what’s happening in Dorchester.”

Dorchester town, district and county councillor Trevor Jones added: “There’s nothing to lose from this and there’s a lot to gain.

“I am sure competition will be stiff but we must put our best foot forward.

“It’s a town with a great sense of identity and community spirit and I think we should put in a strong bid.”

The smallest city in the UK is currently St David’s in Wales with a population of 2,000 while Dorchester has a population of more than 17,500.

Any local authority in any part of the UK can enter the competition but guidelines suggest that places honoured should be ‘vibrant, welcoming communities with interesting histories and distinct identities’.

It is not clear how entries will be judged but the winner will be announced next year.

Comments (23)

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1:41pm Thu 20 Jan 11

ontheotherhand says...

are our hard worked council mad, are they that up themselves that they really believe Dorchester to be a city, when we cant even get the traffic flowing, or the snow cleared for 2 weeks, best stick to local issue not the LOCO ones boys, or is it that city councillors get more pay than town
are our hard worked council mad, are they that up themselves that they really believe Dorchester to be a city, when we cant even get the traffic flowing, or the snow cleared for 2 weeks, best stick to local issue not the LOCO ones boys, or is it that city councillors get more pay than town ontheotherhand
  • Score: 0

1:48pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Duckorange says...

"London, Paris, New York and Dorchester – it rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?"
.
...or painted on the side of a yellow Reliant Robin van.
"London, Paris, New York and Dorchester – it rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?" . ...or painted on the side of a yellow Reliant Robin van. Duckorange
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Thu 20 Jan 11

CoogarUK.com says...

Much as I love Dorchester, the way it is being run hardly qualifies it for town status in my opinion, let alone city. Scrap WDDC immediately and let Dorchester Town Council run affairs for the benefit of those who really matter: the inhabitants/electors
.
Much as I love Dorchester, the way it is being run hardly qualifies it for town status in my opinion, let alone city. Scrap WDDC immediately and let Dorchester Town Council run affairs for the benefit of those who really matter: the inhabitants/electors . CoogarUK.com
  • Score: 0

2:03pm Thu 20 Jan 11

james_spider says...

This has me thinking though... how many other tradiational counties in England have no cities (besides Dorset)?
This has me thinking though... how many other tradiational counties in England have no cities (besides Dorset)? james_spider
  • Score: 0

2:14pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Buckles says...

London has Buckingham Palace, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has Times Square, Dorchester has Wellworths!!!
The similiarities are evident!!
London has Buckingham Palace, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has Times Square, Dorchester has Wellworths!!! The similiarities are evident!! Buckles
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Weymouth Girl says...

Buckles wrote:
London has Buckingham Palace, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has Times Square, Dorchester has Wellworths!!! The similiarities are evident!!
I would say its 'Well Worth It....'
[quote][p][bold]Buckles[/bold] wrote: London has Buckingham Palace, Paris has the Eiffel Tower, New York has Times Square, Dorchester has Wellworths!!! The similiarities are evident!![/p][/quote]I would say its 'Well Worth It....' Weymouth Girl
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Thu 20 Jan 11

JANEAUSTEN says...

Always thought a city had to have either a cathedral or university to be called 'a city', though if it has a cathedral doesnt nec. mean it is a city. Must be exceptions - think Dorch is too small really, shame though,have to make do with Bournemouth (at least its got an airport).
Always thought a city had to have either a cathedral or university to be called 'a city', though if it has a cathedral doesnt nec. mean it is a city. Must be exceptions - think Dorch is too small really, shame though,have to make do with Bournemouth (at least its got an airport). JANEAUSTEN
  • Score: 0

2:29pm Thu 20 Jan 11

JANEAUSTEN says...

Couldnt Charlie use his influence?
Couldnt Charlie use his influence? JANEAUSTEN
  • Score: 0

2:47pm Thu 20 Jan 11

X Old Bill says...

St David's has got a Cathedral, and a very fine old one too. That is the reason that the Queen granted the village City status.
I suppose Roman Durnovaria is just slightly older, maybe that fact could be used to support this strange idea.
.
JANEAUSTEN:
The problem with suggesting Bournemouth is that they will then want to swallow up Christchurch and Poole - That would really upset a lot of people.
St David's has got a Cathedral, and a very fine old one too. That is the reason that the Queen granted the village City status. I suppose Roman Durnovaria is just slightly older, maybe that fact could be used to support this strange idea. . JANEAUSTEN: The problem with suggesting Bournemouth is that they will then want to swallow up Christchurch and Poole - That would really upset a lot of people. X Old Bill
  • Score: 0

2:54pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Duckorange says...

JANEAUSTEN wrote:
Always thought a city had to have either a cathedral or university to be called 'a city', though if it has a cathedral doesnt nec. mean it is a city. Must be exceptions - think Dorch is too small really, shame though,have to make do with Bournemouth (at least its got an airport).
This a bit of a misconception, a city doesn't need either.
.
Any money spent on an application is going to be wasted, I understand Reading is amongst the favourites.
[quote][p][bold]JANEAUSTEN[/bold] wrote: Always thought a city had to have either a cathedral or university to be called 'a city', though if it has a cathedral doesnt nec. mean it is a city. Must be exceptions - think Dorch is too small really, shame though,have to make do with Bournemouth (at least its got an airport).[/p][/quote]This a bit of a misconception, a city doesn't need either. . Any money spent on an application is going to be wasted, I understand Reading is amongst the favourites. Duckorange
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Thu 20 Jan 11

james_spider says...

Yes, for example Lancaster and Sunderland are cities without having cathedrals. The best argument in favour of Dorchester is that there are no other cities in Dorset.
Yes, for example Lancaster and Sunderland are cities without having cathedrals. The best argument in favour of Dorchester is that there are no other cities in Dorset. james_spider
  • Score: 0

5:57pm Thu 20 Jan 11

skyblueneil1967 says...

Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot!
Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot! skyblueneil1967
  • Score: 0

6:16pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Duckorange says...

skyblueneil1967 wrote:
Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot!
Weymouth doesn't want to be promoted. Dorchester is more than welcome to its inner-city slums!
[quote][p][bold]skyblueneil1967[/bold] wrote: Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot![/p][/quote]Weymouth doesn't want to be promoted. Dorchester is more than welcome to its inner-city slums! Duckorange
  • Score: 0

6:50pm Thu 20 Jan 11

X Old Bill says...

No Cities in Dorset.
No Cathedrals in Dorset.
No Motorways in Dorset.
.
From the tourists point of view the County has a lot going for it for not having all these things.
No Cities in Dorset. No Cathedrals in Dorset. No Motorways in Dorset. . From the tourists point of view the County has a lot going for it for not having all these things. X Old Bill
  • Score: 0

6:54pm Thu 20 Jan 11

Genghis says...

skyblueneil1967 wrote:
Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot!
City status for Weymouth? No thanks. Could you imagine how much the Borough Council would bump up the Council Tax to reflect such a "higher" status? The towns of Weymouth and Portland will do.
[quote][p][bold]skyblueneil1967[/bold] wrote: Dorchester this,Dorchester that,what about Weymouth?.....just thought i'd throw that in the pot![/p][/quote]City status for Weymouth? No thanks. Could you imagine how much the Borough Council would bump up the Council Tax to reflect such a "higher" status? The towns of Weymouth and Portland will do. Genghis
  • Score: 0

7:56pm Thu 20 Jan 11

bootedsw says...

Dorchester a city what a joke was that dreamt up the same day they decided to kill off the libraries and make the staff take enforced leave. Perhaps they should just get rid of the person that decided this they obviously have too much time on their hands.
Dorchester a city what a joke was that dreamt up the same day they decided to kill off the libraries and make the staff take enforced leave. Perhaps they should just get rid of the person that decided this they obviously have too much time on their hands. bootedsw
  • Score: 0

11:05pm Thu 20 Jan 11

dorset & proud says...

JANEAUSTEN wrote:
Couldnt Charlie use his influence?
Would that mean that Poundbury becomes a Suburb instead of a "Village"? - he's not going to like that, is he.
[quote][p][bold]JANEAUSTEN[/bold] wrote: Couldnt Charlie use his influence?[/p][/quote]Would that mean that Poundbury becomes a Suburb instead of a "Village"? - he's not going to like that, is he. dorset & proud
  • Score: 0

7:23am Fri 21 Jan 11

mark@greenhill says...

Surely a City has to have something going for it ?

Like decent shops, restaurants and some semblance of night life.

Whoever thought up this crazy idea, really needs to get out more.

Bournemouth is the only place worthy of City status in Dorset.
Surely a City has to have something going for it ? Like decent shops, restaurants and some semblance of night life. Whoever thought up this crazy idea, really needs to get out more. Bournemouth is the only place worthy of City status in Dorset. mark@greenhill
  • Score: 0

7:53am Fri 21 Jan 11

Caption Sensible says...

I almost choked on my cornflakes when I read this!!

Besides Bournemouth/Poole, there is only going to be one place worthy of such an honour in the future - an enlarged and updated, Olympic Borough.
I almost choked on my cornflakes when I read this!! Besides Bournemouth/Poole, there is only going to be one place worthy of such an honour in the future - an enlarged and updated, Olympic Borough. Caption Sensible
  • Score: 0

12:05pm Fri 21 Jan 11

white43 says...

What fun! Yea, Dorch is a bit too small, but can't do ANY HARM. Some of you guys taking it a bit too seriously......
What fun! Yea, Dorch is a bit too small, but can't do ANY HARM. Some of you guys taking it a bit too seriously...... white43
  • Score: 0

12:31pm Fri 21 Jan 11

K9 says...

Poundbury isn't a village, it's an urban extension in planning speak. And if you look at the final planned size of it you will see it is significant compared to Dorchester's original size.
Poundbury isn't a village, it's an urban extension in planning speak. And if you look at the final planned size of it you will see it is significant compared to Dorchester's original size. K9
  • Score: 0

7:12pm Fri 21 Jan 11

Wolfysmith says...

What could our elected official have been doing rather than filling in daft forms? I shall apply for my front garden then to be a town!
What could our elected official have been doing rather than filling in daft forms? I shall apply for my front garden then to be a town! Wolfysmith
  • Score: 0

9:00pm Sat 22 Jan 11

jmd1958 says...

"guidelines suggest that places honoured should be ‘vibrant, welcoming communities "

Sorry Dorch, fell at the first hurdle! Anyway, I can't see that arrogant people would take kindly to something as down market as city status.
"guidelines suggest that places honoured should be ‘vibrant, welcoming communities " Sorry Dorch, fell at the first hurdle! Anyway, I can't see that arrogant people would take kindly to something as down market as city status. jmd1958
  • Score: 0

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