SHAW and Crompton Parish Council could be re-branded later this year providing it receives public backing.
For the past three months councillors have discussed changing the name from Parish to Town Council.
Now the talking has temporarily stopped and local residents are being asked to contribute to the debate.
A five-week consultation period has been launched, with the Shaw and Crompton Correspondent asked to raise the profile of the debate.
The decision follows lengthy discussions at the January meeting of the Parish Council, which was originally inaugurated in 1987.
But the consultation nearly didn’t make it from the council chamber.
Senior Liberal Democrat, Cllr Howard Sykes, Leader of the Opposition on Oldham Borough Council said: “The whole thing is a massive distraction and a nonsense and I move we take no further action.”
Cllr Sykes, however, lost the vote 5-4 with one abstention and appropriate wording to put to the public was finally hammered out by councillors.
Even then there was disagreement as to how much information on possible pros and cons of the Parish versus Town debate should be provided to the public.
Since the original name change debate started last October councillors have attempted to list reasons to and not to make a switch.
Cllr Dawn Blackburn told the meeting: “I don’t find ‘Parish’ an appealing word.
“I find it old fashioned and connected to the church.
“In a multi-cultural society we need to find a word that is more appealing to everyone.”
A ‘Town Council’, it was suggested during previous meetings, would provide a “more dynamic, upbeat image”.
And after three decades rebranding would be considered “timely” and a “catalyst for performance improvements”.
Arguments for maintaining the status quo included cost implications – a change would mean new boundary and road signs etc – and there would be no extra funding or any additional powers with the change of name.
Mossley, Todmorden and Whitworth Town Councils were consulted as to potential advantages, with nothing substantive found in favour.
Cllr Mike Dodd admitted: “We should put to the public of Shaw and Crompton a straightforward statement without any comments at all.
“We have been working on pros and cons but we don’t seem to be able to find any agreement on them.
“I don’t think we will ever get an agreement on the words ‘pros and cons’.
“So, we should ask the people of Shaw and Crompton for their views.
“Otherwise, we are going to go round and round in circles for six months.
“If anyone has a better idea, bring it on.”
Cllr Christopher Stephens added: “I am coming to the conclusion we might go on ad infinitum putting together an appropriate document which is approvable.
“Or can be given consensus of opinion by all councillors around the table.
“Coming to a position statement document is more difficult than we anticipated.”
Councillor Shaun Duffy said: “It is important we get this statement together because it has already been in the public domain about three times.
“The residents are well aware of it and that vote (to do nothing) could have made this Council look quite stupid.”
Shaw & Crompton Parish Council is considering changing its name to ‘Shaw & Crompton Town Council’ and wishes to include the views of residents in its decision.
That decision will be taken by May 2018 at the latest and views of local people are now being sought.
Residents are invited to send comments and views directly to Mr Tony Hilton, Clerk to the Parish Council.
This needs to be done by Friday, February 23 2018 and correspondence can be received by:
Letter to: Shaw & Crompton Parish Council, Council Offices, 1 Kershaw Street East, Shaw, Oldham OL2 8AB;
By email to: firstname.lastname@example.org;
Or by telephone: 01706 847590.
In terms of legislation, the Local Government Act 1972 s245 (6), entitles a ‘Parish’ Council to change its status to ‘Town’ Council.