Council plans to spend more on its mayors

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FUTURE mayors will have a larger allowance and improved regalia in plans by Tring Town Council.

Councillors agreed for the mayor’s allowance to increase from £600 to £1,000 and to spend £3,000 over three years on improvements to the mayoral regalia.

At a finance meeting on Monday night, Councillor Roxanne Ransley said: “We have an allowance so nobody feels they cannot be mayor because they cannot afford it.

“The idea is you can go to any event you want to, buy raffle tickets, make donations and turn up looking smart.”

Councillor Barry Batchelor said: “The mayor’s role is to be a figurehead thanking people who work in numerous charities who work for the benefit of the community. It would be a shame if people could not become mayor if they felt they could not afford to make their expenses.”

Mrs Ransley explained that there are links on the mayoral chain with names of each mayor on and there are currently two nameless links left.

“It will need cleaning and a case to put it in,” she said. “It is two years before we have to do that.”

The mayoral chain will be cleaned and have extra links attached in time for 2013, when the town celebrates the 700th anniversary of its charter market.

Mayor of Tring John Allan said: “It is important we have our regalia in proper position by then.”

She suggested that the council put money aside during each of the next two years, to be able to pay £3,000 required

Councillor Nick Hollinghurst said: “I am pleased the council have taken this view and I think for a lot of people in the borough it is going to be very tight indeed so I do not think it will go down particularly well if we spend the full amount this year.”

Mrs Ransley said: “I do think this will show we are prudently preparing for when we need to do it.”

Councillor Penny Hearn said she supported the proposals but both should have been in the previous year’s budget.

Mrs Ransley said the council should monitor the mayor’s allowance in order to include it in future budgets.