Call to make 'fair city' more than a name

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CELEBRATIONS marking Perth's 800th anniversary should be used as a launch pad for a campaign to secure city status for the town, it was claimed yesterday.

The Royal Burgh of Perth was founded when William the Lion granted the town a Royal Charter in 1210.

Members of Perth and Kinross Council will be urged on Wednesday to approve a 300,000 budget for the celebrations in 2010.

But Jim Irons, the local authority's executive director for the environment, is recommending the celebrations should be used as the foundation of a bid for formal city status for the "fair city".

In a report, he said: "There is agreement within the council and across the wider community for Perth to be formally recognised as an 'official city' by the Scottish Government. City status can only be awarded by the monarch on the occasion of a national celebration.

"The next national celebration which brings such an opportunity is 2012, for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

"However, the 800th anniversary of Perth in 2010 could act as a starting point for such a campaign, with the achievement of city status in 2012 providing a clear and obvious objective."

Provost John Hulbert added: "We are planning a major series of festivities, which will develop over two years ... and play an important part in progressing the case for official city status for Perth."

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