CONTROVERSIAL moves to replace Pendle’s iconic skyline motif with ‘Mars bar marketing’ have been slammed by critics.

Ruling Tories have rubberstamped plans to replace the M65 sign coming into the borough with a logo reading ‘Pendle – the In Place to Work-Live-Play’, at a cost of £4,500.

Last-minute changes altered the phrasing from ‘Pendle – The Place to Work-Live-Play’, echoing the famous chocolate bar’s ‘Work, Rest and Play’ slogan.

Another £14,500 will be found to erect similar signs on all routes leading in and out of the borough, including border signs with North and West Yorkshire neighbours.

The move is part of attempts to celebrate Pendle borough’s 40th anniversary – but opposition Liberal Democrats have savaged the proposals.

Coun John David, group leader, said: “This is an extraordinary scheme. People in Pendle will not welcome this when we’re strapped for cash.”

Coun David Whipp added: “This is an outrageous waste of money, promoting a moronic Mars bar message with a poorly-designed logo. It should be scrapped.

“Pendle Hill and the Pendle Witches have a national profile. Why should they be airbrushed away and replaced by meaningless squiggles?”

Coun Ken Hartley, from Barnoldswick, is leading a campaign to reverse the Brand Pendle movement, endorsed by the executive last week. He said: “From my experience as an industrialist I would not touch either the concept or the artwork with a proverbial barge pole,” said Coun Hartley.

“I am incensed with the proposal and its total insensitivity to the current financial climate.”

Coun James Starkie, the Conservative councillor leading the initiative, said the signs would promote living, staying, shopping, learning, walking, and even fishing in Pendle.