West Suffolk Council: 'Historic' coat of arms reinstated

West Suffolk Council coat of arms Image copyright West Suffolk Council
Image caption The coat of arms for the new West Suffolk Council will be based on this design from the former West Suffolk County

A coat of arms last used 45 years ago has been dusted off as the emblem of a newly-formed council.

West Suffolk Council, formed by a merger of the Forest Heath and St Edmundsbury authorities, will re-adopt the badge from April.

Creating a new coat of arms could have cost £17,000 and would have needed approval from the Queen.

Councillors said reworking the old design would cost about £1,400 and would reflect the area's "history".

Image copyright Forest Heath/St Edmundsbury
Image caption The coats of arms of Forest Heath District Council, left, and St Edmundsbury Borough Council which will both be merged

A shadow West Suffolk council has been set up ahead of elections to the new authority in May.

Councillors heard a report which said creating a new one could have taken up to 12 months and would have needed royal approval.

The design, which became obsolete in a local government reorganisation in 1974, depicts symbols representing St Edmund and King Edward the Confessor.

In a joint statement, Forest Heath District Councillor Ruth Bowman and St Edmundsbury Borough Councillor Carol Bull, both cabinet members for future governance, said: "Whilst the new West Suffolk Council will be forward-looking and designed to respond to the fast changing demands of our modern world and thus better drive prosperity in the area, it [the coat of arms] has its roots in local history and has existed previously.

They said using the old emblem would be more "cost-effective" and show "visible historic links".