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Councillors to consider mayoralty costs

Cllr and Mrs Blackburn.The findings of the The Mayoralty Task Group which has been looking at Scarborough Borough Council’s Mayoral Service will be presented to Cabinet at its meeting on Tuesday 14 February 2012.


As part of the council’s budget consultation in 2010 residents were asked which budgets should be reduced and which increased. The results showed that residents felt the Mayoralty and civic budgets could be cut and in response to this savings have been made by reducing administrative support provided to this service. 


In response, the Council’s Cabinet requested the Resources Scrutiny Committee review the Mayoralty and that process commenced at its meeting on 13 September 2011. The Committee set up a task group to review the work of the Mayor and to seek to identify potential savings which would not negatively affect the service.


In his report to the Committee of 13 September 2011 the Council’s Head of Legal and Support Services suggested the mayoral chauffeur service be included within the review. 


The task group gathered evidence both written and in person from people with experience of the Mayoral Service, both within and outside the council and gave members of the public the opportunity to attend a meeting to make comments.  The group also made comparisons with what other local authorities do.


The task group produced a report of its findings and presented these to the Resources Scrutiny Committee which made various proposals for saving money within this service including discontinuing the Chauffeur Service currently provided for the Mayor and increasing the number of engagements to which the Mayor transports himself and only providing the facility of a driver and car where it is impractical for the Mayor to drive themselves.


The Task Group reported to the Resources Scrutiny Committee meeting on 24 January 2012.  The Resources Scrutiny Committee referred the Task Group report to Cabinet for consideration at its meeting next week. However, the Resources Scrutiny Committee has also made its own recommendations to Cabinet, namely: 

  • A feasibility study be carried out on the possibilities of leasing or sponsorship of a Mayoral car as a potential long term solution
  • The annual Mayor Making evening reception be discontinued and replaced with a smaller scale lunch event with a reduced guest list
  • The civic heads and business guests previously invited to Civic Day and Civic Luncheon during the annual Scarborough Cricket Festival be invited instead to a day of corporate entertainment during the festival
  • Consideration be given to reducing the number of days of ‘corporate entertainment’ for business and the community at the Scarborough Cricket Festival to two days
  • Councillors to choose a single day they would prefer to attend the Cricket Festival
  • A more structured performance management measure be established for events attended by the Mayor, for example that community events take priority over civic only functions
  • The Mayoral theme be formally linked to the council’s corporate objectives


Ian Anderson, Scarborough Borough Council’s Head of Legal and Support Services, has been overlooking the task group’s progress. He said: “Although members of the Resources Scrutiny Committee have not recommended that the Mayoral Chauffeur Service be discontinued, savings still need to be made and Cabinet will have a difficult decision ahead of it.”


There has been a Mayor for Scarborough since 1836 and a Mayor of the Borough since 1974.  He or she acts as an ambassador and has both a democratic and ceremonial role to perform not only for the council but also the borough.  The Mayor has various roles which include community engagement, particularly with schools and young people; promoting the borough for tourism and business; attending key events as the Queen’s representative and acting as the town’s first citizen.
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