Local council wants to change its name because nobody can pronounce it properly

David Harding
Babergh District Council

A Suffolk council is considering changing its name because people cannot pronounce it properly.

Babergh - pronounced Bay-ber - District Council will consider the name change at a meeting next month,

The change has also been proposed because councillors don’t think people know where the local authority is - despite it being in existence for 45 years.

They have proposed changing the authority’s name to South Suffolk Council.

“Babergh has a proud history, but we know that people from further afield are often unaware of exactly where Babergh is and even struggle over its pronunciation,” said John Ward, leader of Babergh District Council.

“By renaming to South Suffolk we can be clear about who we are, where we are and what we represent – as well as clearly identifying the council, it will also align with the name of our parliamentary constituency, cutting down on any confusion.”

Two Thatched Cottages owned by Babergh District Council (PA Images via Getty Images)

Babergh is not a new name - and can even be dated back to the Domesday Book, which was published in 1086.

The area was then first listed as ‘Baberga’, thought to mean ‘mound of a man called Babba’.

To get the name change, councillors need the support of at least two-thirds of those who attend the meeting.

The council said that in the event of a change implementation costs, reportedly up to £10,000, will be “kept to an absolute minimum”.


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The meeting will go ahead on October 22.

The proposed move though has critics.

Local historian Barry Wall, 85, told The Telegraph: "Everybody knows how to pronounce it, for heaven's sake. Do they think we are ignorant? I do think they think we are stupid actually.

"It's an unnecessary thing to do, fiddling around with changing names. It's ridiculous. When you think of what it's going to cost at this time it's stupid."

Other critics voiced their dismay on Twitter, where Ian Haygreen wrote: "South Suffolk lacks the poetic and historic feeling that Babergh has. It’s unimaginatively dull and utilitarian.”

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