Cost ‘will be re-examined’

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THE cost of the annual mayor-making ceremony and reception will be re-examined for next year.

As revealed in the Advertiser in early April, the council spent nearly £5,000 on last year’s event - and was criticised for planning the same this year while making cuts in other areas, including redundancies.

Despite the controversy, the ceremony and dinner went ahead - but new council leader Don Mackenzie has vowed to look again at the budget before arranging the 2012 reception.

He said: “I am conscious of the fact that the economic situation is tough for many of us.

“Local authorities are under severe pressure to look at all areas of expenditure, and the cost of this event will be scrutinised.

“Perhaps there is another type of occasion which will combine proper ceremony with lower cost. If there is, we will consider it, in the same way as we closely scrutinise all areas of the budget.”

He said several councillors had paid their own way this year and the Conservatives gave £500 to the mayor’s secretary to help cover costs.

But he said the mayor and deputy offered value for money, adding: “The holders of these offices carry out well over 500 functions during the course of their year in office.

“Each occasion attended by the mayor or deputy is enhanced by the dignity and ceremony of the office. Very large numbers of our residents express their gratitude every year to the mayor for the invaluable contribution made to their particular event.”