Staines-upon-Thames name change confirmed

The Lino Sculpture in Staines town centre The change of name to Staines-upon-Thames will come into effect at a ceremony next May

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The Surrey town of Staines is to change its name to Staines-upon-Thames with the aim of promoting its riverside location and boosting its economy.

Spelthorne borough councillors backed the change at a full council meeting on Thursday night after consulting residents and businesses.

Of the 35 councillors who attended, 25 voted for the name change, six abstained and four voted against.

There will be a formal ceremony on 20 May to mark the official renaming.

Alex Tribick, chairman of the Spelthorne Business Forum, came up with the idea to change the name of the town and said he was "delighted" with the decision.

"It's the culmination of two years' hard work," he said, adding that "it was quite clear from the public consultation that we'd overwhelmingly won the argument".

"Last night's vote by the council was a ringing endorsement of what the public wanted."

Staines Town FC had been among those campaigning against the name change and has insisted that it would not change the name of its club.

Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G Staines was the home of Ali G, created by comic Sacha Baron Cohen

Secretary Steve Parson described the consultancy process as "a sham".

He said the argument that the new name would attract visitors and businesses to Staines did not stand up.

"It doesn't take very much research at all to learn where Staines is if you don't already know.

"If he [Mr Tribick] is looking to attract the sort of businesses that are run by people that are so stupid they can't even open an atlas or a gazetteer then I'm not sure that they're going to be very good for the future of our town."

But Councillor Colin Davis, the borough's economic development spokesman, said: "All those who voted for this excellent measure recognise that by evoking its historic position on the River Thames, Staines-upon-Thames can display its best to the world at large."

Staines was lampooned by comic spoof rapper Ali G and Indie band Hard-Fi.

Comedian Sacha Baron Cohen used the town as the home for his character, while the rock band described it as being "like a ghost town".

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