COUNCILLORS are objecting to plans to change the name of a pub named after a former city mayor to the “Drunken Duck” because they are worried it does not set a good example.

Andrew Ward, owner of the John Duck Ale House, in Claypath, Durham, named after a 17th century mayor, want to change the pub’s name to the “Drunken Duck.”

An objection has been made by the City of Durham Parish Council.

A letter sent by the council says: “The John Duck is named after a 17th Century City of Durham Mayor and it is felt that changing its name to the Drunken Duck is not an example we wish to be set in Durham.”

While plans for new signage have been sent to Durham County Council for approval, the planning department does not have control over the naming of pubs.

Initial proposals included plans to put a temporary flower wall on the listed building have been dropped.

Councillor Roger Cornwell, chairman of the parish council’s planning committee, said: “Renaming this establishment the Drunken Duck not only takes away the local historical significance of the name of Sir John Duck, but this also could be seen as encouraging excessive drinking. An example we are certainly not keen to set for Durham City.

“The justification offered for the new signage that it ‘will create a high-quality impression on the venue and in turn help to improve the overall aesthetic of Claypath’ is frankly laughable.

“The applicant has seen sense in abandoning their proposal to plant artificial flowers on the front of the building, and we call on them to take the next step and abandon their proposed name change.”

The application says the planned work will give the pub a new lease of life, improve the overall aesthetic of Claypath, allowing the business to grow and thrive.

The application adds: “The commercial and public rewards outweigh the minimal impact on the building.”

Sir John Duck was apprenticed as a boy to a butcher in Durham but his subsequent fortunes is said to have come about after a raven dropped a gold coin at his feet.

In 1680 he served as Mayor of Durham and was later made a baronet of Haswell-on-the-Hill because of his loyalty to the government.