Anger over town regalia
Bicester’s mayor was accused of arrogance during a debate over plans to buy new civic regalia last night.
Councillor Les Sibley, who disagreed with proposals to spend more than £8,500 on a new mayoral chain of office, made the accusation after describing the plans as “vanity”.
But despite opposition from Labour member Les Sibley and Liberal Democrat member Nick Cotter, the proposal was approved by the rest of the councillors present.
The current 18ct gold chain, donated to the town in 1960 by pools winner Albert Taylor, has no blank links left to record mayors’ names. Due to the high price of gold, the cost of adding new links is expected to be around £3,000 each.
Bicester Town Mayor, Councillor Dan Sames, said the new chain was, “about continuity and history”.
He said all regalia only lasts a certain amount of time before it needs to be replaced, adding: “As the town grows and expands, we need some kind of touchstone.
“The presence of a mayor with a chain is very important.”
Councillor Richard Mould backed the mayor’s argument. “The alternative is to add more links, and we can’t add links to the existing chain without taking some old ones off. And at £3,000 a link, I don’t think it’s the way to go,” he said.
The new silver gilt chain will have 35 blank links.
Councillor Nick Cotter said he might consider calling a town poll over the issue. “I think this is something the people of Bicester should vote on,” he said.
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Weather for Buckingham
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 13 mph
Wind direction: North
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