Should We Sell Pontardawe’s Mayor Chains To Spend The Money On The Community?

We recently held a poll on line which was open for three days. 210 of you cast your vote. Below is the wording and the subsequent result.

Vince from the Ponty Mag is to propose to the Town Council that the council sells the Mayors chains (valued at £13,000) as the money can be better spent within the community.

He is also to propose to modernise the post, and for it to be separate from the church with the goal of simply having a Council leader.

Would you support this idea?
59%Yes. 41%No.

The poll follows on from a ‘rant’ we published a couple of months ago where I out lined my intention to put the proposal to the Town council. I was amazed by the reaction to the article and certainly had people I hardly knew approaching me with their views. In the main they were supportive of the idea but in fairness there were a few that felt that they would rather stick with tradition so I thought I’d invite a few more to voice their opinion.

The debate that followed on FB was interesting to say the least. Ex majors, ‘would be majors and their families all came out condemning the motion. They were mainly concerned that we would not realise £13,000 or anything like that if we were to sell them. And that the figures I quoted were figures for insurance purposes only.

There then seemed to be a race to the bottom, how low can we value the chains. I’m sure if the poll had gone on for another week, we’d be lucky to get a fiver and a bag of crisps for them. Someone pointed out that he’d seen on –line ‘chains of office’ going for £300.
And I’m sure he’s right, I’m also sure you can get them for £3,000 and even £30,000!

The figures may well be what we insure the chains for but it is also the figure that we use when we value our assets in our annual return. Assets values in an annual return are meant to be realistic figures that can be expected to be realised in an event of sale. There are formulae that are followed to ascertain the amount that should be deducted for depreciation or in the case of properties appreciation. The idea that we are listing and signing off accounts that on one hand show a value of £13,000 but are actually next to worthless is ridiculous.

But I accept that we would be unlikely to realise their full value and suggested that in my previous ‘rant’
The chains, are listed as an asset valued at over £13,000. Now we probably wouldn’t realise as much as that, but we could raise a considerable amount of money from their sale, that I feel could be used to benefit our town in far more useful ways

The sale of the chains and paraphernalia I believe would realise a considerable amount of money that could be put to more important uses. It will also be an opportunity to modernize and dispense with a tradition that reeks of class and privilege. Companies and Charities every year at their AGM will appoint a new Chair and officers without the need for mini coronations. They just get on with it, which is what I feel we should.

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