Rethink on plan to splurge £8,000 on new mayoral chain for Bicester

Bicester Advertiser: Les Sibley, left, and Nick Cotter in the council chamber with the board showing previous mayors Les Sibley, left, and Nick Cotter in the council chamber with the board showing previous mayors

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.

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Comments (11)

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7:49am Thu 21 Feb 13

paleblueone says...

Once again, having lived in this town for 35 years, all I hear is vanity, vanity, vanity! There are so many other things to be worrying about rather than how Mayor Dan Sames looks when out and about! I'm with Cr Pickford, the current chain was a gift and should not be mothballed! Come on everyone lets concentrate on the important things of debate!
Once again, having lived in this town for 35 years, all I hear is vanity, vanity, vanity! There are so many other things to be worrying about rather than how Mayor Dan Sames looks when out and about! I'm with Cr Pickford, the current chain was a gift and should not be mothballed! Come on everyone lets concentrate on the important things of debate! paleblueone

8:18am Thu 21 Feb 13

Quentin Walker says...

It would appear ego-boosting is more important than trying to balance the books in these austere times.
It would appear ego-boosting is more important than trying to balance the books in these austere times. Quentin Walker

8:44am Thu 21 Feb 13

Cathena says...

Add the new names, in small lettering, to the existing links. By the time you have finished you will be able to afford a new chain - if not start again under the existing names. Smaller lettering does not mean smaller credit to the mayors.
Add the new names, in small lettering, to the existing links. By the time you have finished you will be able to afford a new chain - if not start again under [or above] the existing names. Smaller lettering does not mean smaller credit to the mayors. Cathena

9:09am Thu 21 Feb 13

Myron Blatz says...

At a time of massive recession, people oout of work, ever-increasing costs for private-sector electricity,gas, rail fares, food costs, council-tax increases looming and MPs trying to get themselves an obscenely masssive public-sector payrise, isn't it time to 'pull the chain' and dump civic regalia?
At a time of massive recession, people oout of work, ever-increasing costs for private-sector electricity,gas, rail fares, food costs, council-tax increases looming and MPs trying to get themselves an obscenely masssive public-sector payrise, isn't it time to 'pull the chain' and dump civic regalia? Myron Blatz

9:10am Thu 21 Feb 13

interested123 says...

Good to see these councillors putting the community before vanity, but let's see the money put to good use rather than just sitting in an account.
Good to see these councillors putting the community before vanity, but let's see the money put to good use rather than just sitting in an account. interested123

9:14am Thu 21 Feb 13

adeshere says...

What a disgrace, lots more important things to spend OUR money on.

I really don't see why we need a Mayor
What a disgrace, lots more important things to spend OUR money on. I really don't see why we need a Mayor adeshere

9:31am Thu 21 Feb 13

bart-on simpson says...

No, no, you are all quite wrong - it is relaly important to know who the mayor is - without the limo and personalised number plates, you really can't spot them in the queue waiting to get into Bicester Village, innit?
No, no, you are all quite wrong - it is relaly important to know who the mayor is - without the limo and personalised number plates, you really can't spot them in the queue waiting to get into Bicester Village, innit? bart-on simpson

9:44am Thu 21 Feb 13

andyq7 says...

Debbie Pickford Has a good argument.
But in theses hard times, Don't you think They should get your priorities in order?
Debbie Pickford Has a good argument. But in theses hard times, Don't you think They should get your priorities in order? andyq7

11:28am Thu 21 Feb 13

steve1955 says...

If the conservatives want this so much put their hands in their own pockets especially the ones claiming allowances fron cherwell and bicester councils its too easy for some people to spend other peoples money spend their own
If the conservatives want this so much put their hands in their own pockets especially the ones claiming allowances fron cherwell and bicester councils its too easy for some people to spend other peoples money spend their own steve1955

12:56pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Severian says...

Cllr Dan Sames says people are "generally supportive". Well he hasn't asked me - I'll certainly tell him what I think if he does!

I rarely agree with anything that Debbie Pickford says, but this is twice now that I've agreed with her! Bizarre. (The other time was when our great Councillors wanted to pay £10,000+ for a piece of art to nail to the gates of Garth Park).
Cllr Dan Sames says people are "generally supportive". Well he hasn't asked me - I'll certainly tell him what I think if he does! I rarely agree with anything that Debbie Pickford says, but this is twice now that I've agreed with her! Bizarre. (The other time was when our great Councillors wanted to pay £10,000+ for a piece of art to nail to the gates of Garth Park). Severian

11:52pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Myron Blatz says...

Maybe the solution is to get Sainsbury's or Tesco to pay for the bloomin thing - after all it could then be written-off as part of 'money back to the community' (in Oxford it's called 'Section 106 Money') from the building construction work on new stores for these two supermarket chains. So, fickle local politicians and civic dignitaries would get their stupid toy bage, and the supermarket would also gain - its name embossed on the medallion forever - or until ASDA or Morrisons move into Bicester!
Maybe the solution is to get Sainsbury's or Tesco to pay for the bloomin thing - after all it could then be written-off as part of 'money back to the community' (in Oxford it's called 'Section 106 Money') from the building construction work on new stores for these two supermarket chains. So, fickle local politicians and civic dignitaries would get their stupid toy bage, and the supermarket would also gain - its name embossed on the medallion forever - or until ASDA or Morrisons move into Bicester! Myron Blatz

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