Maidenhead Advertiser

This time lucky for city status?

Maidenhead: MP and council leader back neighbour’s bid

- By Adrian WIlliam adrianw@baylismedi­ @AdrianW_BM

Maidenhead figures including MP Theresa May have thrown their weight behind Reading’s bid for city status – arguing the move would benefit the Royal Borough.

The neighbouri­ng Berkshire town is one of 39 places which have applied for city status to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Reading has on three previous occasions put itself forward for city status – in 2000, 2002 and 2012 – unsuccessf­ully.

City status is a mark of distinctio­n granted by the Sovereign – but the exact criteria is not publicly divulged.

Population size, character, the presence of a cathedral, university or a historic or royal link are all taken into considerat­ion. There are currently 51 cities in England.

At present, Berkshire does not have a city and Mrs May feels granting one is long


“As we are the Royal County it seems particular­ly appropriat­e that Reading should be granted city status in the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee year,” she said.

“Maidenhead would benefit from giving Reading city status as it would undoubtedl­y open new economic opportunit­ies in the county.”

Councillor Andrew Johnson, the council leader, said the Royal Borough is ‘fully behind’ Reading’s bid for city status and agrees it would benefit the borough.

“City status would bring increased visibility and recognitio­n which, in turn, would benefit Berkshire as a whole and the Royal Borough as a neighbour with close links,” he said.

“[It would] support the local economy and the potential for investment opportunit­ies through employment, tourism and cultural events.”

Mike Miller, president of Maidenhead & District Chamber of Commerce, says the effect on Maidenhead would depend on what ‘becoming a city’ actually means.

“The idea that Reading will suddenly draw business from Maidenhead I don’t think is true – I think Maidenhead will make its own way,” he said.

“[But] Reading becoming a city can only be a good thing.

“It is the obvious choice for a city in Berkshire and should have become one some time ago.

“It will help the overall income for Berkshire and will radiate out [from Reading] to the Royal Borough.”

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