Rethink on plan to splurge £8,000 on new mayoral chain for Bicester
7:00am Thursday 21st February 2013 in News
A DECISION to spend £8,000 to buy a new mayoral chain for Bicester will be looked at again.
Three town councillors have called in the decision by the ruling Conservative party.
Opposition councillors Les Sibley and Nick Cotter along with Conservative councillor Debbie Pickford have forced last week’s decision to be suspended.
The group will now put forward a new alternative motion setting out their proposal.
Conservative councillors voted in favour of replacing the current gold mayoral chain with a silver gilt replica costing £8,636.52, including VAT, which can be reclaimed.
It would be paid for using £5,453 in the council’s Othello Fund – cash from the sale of an Othello bust by Italian sculptor Antonio Canova which was sold in the 1980s – and general reserves.
But the issue has infuriated some councillors who say the new chain is only about civic leaders getting their names engraved on it.
Debbie Pickford, who was not at last week’s meeting, but is opposed to replacing the chain, says her Conservative colleagues were “wrong on this occasion”.
She said: “We were given this chain as a gift, it’s not the sort of thing you put into retirement. It has been going for 50 years, we have got enough names on it. It’s our history, it was a gift to the town.”
She said the cash should be used for another capital project to benefit the town.
But mayor Dan Sames, who supports replacing the chain, said residents he spoke to were “generally supportive” of buying a new one.
It is unclear when the matter will be discussed again.
The 18ct gold mayoral chain was donated to the town by Albert Taylor in 1960 after he won £147,000 on the Littlewood football pools.