TODAY The Yorkshire Post publishes the cost to the public for running the car which has carried the Lord Mayor of Bradford to and from civic engagements for the past three years. It is with certainty that some individuals will howl with derision at what they will call abject profligacy.
And whilst this newspaper will always be the first to scrutinise, and call out occasions where our money is not put to good use, this certainly is not a moment to do so. This demonstrates that residents receive exceptional value from these civic ambassadors who do so much good for charity and worthy causes.
Transparency works both ways, as these figures demonstrate, so whilst The Yorkshire Post will never shy away from the electorate’s right to know the costs incurred by councils and others, it is only right that it plays its part in when criticism is misdirected.
Becoming mayor is a privilege open to all, and an office which ought to be one that people aspire to occupy. It is open to any resident elected to their local council and the post is often used to recognise distinguished service. However the responsibilities are onerous. Not only is it time-consuming, requiring regular attendance at functions from early morning to late at night – Shanks’ pony is invariably impractical – but the ceremonial holder of the civic chains, and also their spouse or partner, have to look smart, set the tone for every function and be the first to make a donation or buy some raffle tickets. The goodwill generated by these visits more than exceeds the cost of a £20,000 three year car lease so a mayor can represent their community with pride.