Page last updated at 09:21 GMT, Thursday, 17 July 2008 10:21 UK

Town seeks to regain city status

Rochester Cathedral
Rochester could regain city status if the Queen granted the honour

A Kent town is stepping up efforts to regain city status - which it lost due to a "slip of a bureaucrat's pen".

Rochester held the title from 1211 until 1998 when the area of Medway became a unitary authority.

The change in status was only spotted in 2002 when a local group found that it was missing from the Lord Chancellor's list of UK cities.

Now a petition is being launched by a local councillor which will ask the Queen to return the city status.

When Medway became a unitary authority the old Rochester-upon-Medway City Council was asked if it wanted to employ charter trustees, who would protect the city's status.

That was deemed unnecessary, resulting in the loss of status.

The only way for Rochester to regain its city status is for the Queen to grant the honour.

River Ward Councillor Craig Mackinlay is spearheading the city status campaign.

"We've got the Cathedral, and that used to be in the 1800s and before the recognition of a city... it's really a slip of a bureaucrat's pen, and there's no reason why we can't get that back more easily," he said.

He hopes tens of thousands of people will sign the petition which will be presented to the Queen later this year.


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