A petition has been launched to preserve the name ‘Bute’ in Argyll and Bute Council’s service promotion.
Residents fear that the island’s identity will die after the local authority dropped ‘Bute’ from all marketing and promotional literature, service delivery and email straplines.
Locals are concerned that Argyll and Bute Council’s promotion of the area is focusing only on Argyll – at Bute’s expense.
Bute Community Council and the Bute branch of the SNP have launched a petition calling on the local authority to immediately cease its new policy and ensure the island reference is not lost.
Councillor Jim Findlay argued that the loss of the Bute name lessened the island’s status.
He said: “In today’s competitive environment for investment and tourism, Bute cannot afford to be diminished by what appears to be a new communication policy.
“A policy that has not been passed through any committee of councillors for approval.”
Campaigners claim that council employees have been told to use the strapline Choose Argyll, Love Argyll in all email correspondence.
This is replacing Argyll and Bute: Realising Our Potential Together.
The Rural Growth Deal bid to government is entitled Argyll: The Natural Choice, although the council area is Argyll and Bute.
Bute Branch SNP convener and joint organiser of the petition, Isobel Strong, said: “Many people on the island, including council employees, are feeling threatened about the Bute name being dropped from the council’s strapline as well as losing the identity of Bute from the leisure trust.”
Marlene Hill, the chair of Bute Community Council and joint organiser of the petition, is clear about the petition’s call and hopes the community of Bute will back the campaign.
Ms Hill said: “It is essential to support this petition.”
The petition can be signed at various retail outlets across Bute.
An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: “Argyll and Bute Council’s focus on achieving the progress that Bute needs is not changing.
“The council name and logo also remain unchanged.
“The Choose Argyll, Love Argyll strapline was developed with public consultation to attract people to Argyll and Bute, which is key if we are to bring further investment to maintain services and build a successful future.
“‘Argyll’ keeps the message as short and so easy-to-remember as possible and we have ensured that Bute has prominence in its branding.
“It appears with the council’s logo and uses abplace2b as our key social media link and the name of the website (www.abplace2b.scot) we are developing to encourage people to move, work and invest here.
“Promoting Bute is a key role for this site.
“We would welcome input from the community council and public, for example, on images they would like to represent Bute or local businesses they would like promoted.
“Any ideas welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.”