Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Sidmouth town councillors have questioned the wisdom of budgeting £2,500 for civic regalia when neighbouring authorities have come under fire for similar spending.
The cash is being put aside every year to avoid future issues and to enable the council to recognise valuable contributions to the community.
The chairman’s chains are running out of space for engravings, while honorary freemen currently have nothing to show their title at civic functions.
“Having read about civic regalia in other towns, is it wise to do this now?” asked Councillor Ian Barlow.
Town council chairman John Hollick responded: “We feel it is quite wise to put something away year after year, so when it does need doing, we will have the money and not be caught out like other towns not far from here.
“This chain is full – we can either add another 10 links or start again.”
He added that retiring the current chain would mean it would not need to be replaced for another 40 years.
Cllr Graham Liverton said: “Freemen have no significant thing to say they are freemen – it’s one of the things we thought they should have.
“To increase the chain is prudent – it’s not self-glorification.”
He added that budgeting when they can will avoid future spending that is ‘over and above’ the council’s reach.