Purfleet's name-change will put the Essex town back 'on the map'

Purfleet's beacon Image copyright David Anstiss/Geograph
Image caption Purfleet is on the banks of the River Thames, close to the Dartford Crossing

Changing a town's name puts "it on the map again", a councillor has said.

Thurrock councillors have agreed that Purfleet, Essex, will become Purfleet-on-Thames, in recognition of its riverside location.

Conservative councillor Mark Coxhill said it was a "very exciting" decision.

Labour councillor Vicky Holloway said it would make the town a "more desirable place" to live, work and visit.

The town, close to the Dartford Crossing and Lakeside shopping centre, is mentioned in Bram Stoker's classic novel Dracula as the site of Carfax House, to be purchased by the Count.

In January 2019, a petition signed by 611 Purfleet residents calling for the name-change was presented to the council.

Image copyright Marathon/Purfleet
Image caption The Rainham Marshes Nature Reserve are on the edge of the river

In a consultation held from July to October, 84% of respondents were in favour of the change, council leader Rob Gledhill said.

The council said the new name would "formally recognise the link with the river Thames, help promote the planned regeneration activity, reflect the new aspirations of the people and place, and to support raising the profile of Purfleet."

Mr Coxhill, who moved out of Purfleet eight years ago, said he might move back because of the change.

In council documents Jo Freeman, finance manager, said providing new signs would be the only direct cost of the change, but this had not been calculated.

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