COUNCIL buildings across rural Dorset are sporting new signs this week – the logo of the new Dorset Council.

Many were put up over the weekend ready for the start of the working week, but many of the old signs will remain in place until the job can be completed over the coming weeks.

Typical was the former West Dorset District Council headquarters, South Walks House in Dorchester which now has the brightly coloured logo of the new council on the wall at the east end of the building, but immediately below it at ground level, an old sign for West Dorset District Council.

At County Hall a mobile sign, normally used to warn drivers of roadworks, was pressed into use alongside the steps to the building to display “welcome to the new council' alternating with a logo of the new authority.

Inside the building the 1950s reception area now has Dorset Council signage but the outside will probably forever bear the carved county logo with the motto 'Who's Afear'd.'

Most council buildings will only have one sign but the exception is the former Weymouth and Portland borough council headquarters in Commercial Road, Weymouth which now bears the markings of both the Dorset Council and the new Weymouth Town Council.

Some Dorset Council staff will share the building with their town council colleagues for local people to drop in with queries for either authority.

The future of buildings belonging to former council has yet to be decided. Chief Executive, Matt Prosser, said that the decisions would not be made until early summer at the earliest because the authority needed to wait for the election of new councillors on May 2nd and then for a political decision about where staff should be based.

Weymouth councillors in recent months have called for some council departments to be transferred to the town to offer a jobs boost for the area, which suffers one of the highest unemployment rates and lowest average wages in the county.

Many council staff commute daily from the Weymouth area to work in Dorchester with the county town having more jobs than it has people of working age.

Dorset Council say the cost of new building signage was £8,870 for the main council offices and the ten main libraries across the county.

A spokesman said that the rebranding has been done with the aim of keeping costs to an absolute minimum with vehicles which are known to be near the end of their lives having the old branding removed and not adding the new branding.

"We are also looking to do the vast majority of rebranding as and when items need replacing as part of their natural life," said a spokesman.

The design of the new logo was carried out by staff, incurring only minimal labour costs.