Row over Tewkesbury's historic maces
DISGRUNTLED town councillors want the borough authority to know they are the rightful owners of Tewkesbury's historic maces – but they don't want them back.
The objects were the centre of a heated conversation at an extraordinary meeting of the town council this week.
Since the local government reorganisation of 1974, two maces and other civic regalia have been kept at the Gloucester Road offices of the borough council, rather than the town council's town hall base in High Street.
Town councillor Lloyd Ward said: "My proposal is we get a letter written to the borough asking them to return our maces and any regalia they have. They are stating that they own them and I have proof here that they know they were given to them on permanent loan in April 1974."
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Other councillors agreed the borough council should be approached to establish the town council owns the items but voiced concerns about housing them at the town hall.
Councillor Christine Danter said: "We can all have free use of them, perhaps it will be nice to have photos or replicas in the town and I would like to see the town council informed when they are being used – especially out of the borough. But I'm not in favour of keeping them here because of security reasons."
Councillor Kevin Cromwell raised the financial impact if the items were returned to the care of the town council.
He said: "The fact we have no ongoing costs with them at the moment, I think is something else we are going to add to our overheads if we take them."
Town mayor Ken Powell said: "We have no huge safe or security cupboard to lock them in and we are asking for a problem, and whether they will affect our insurance because they must have a value. I think the only road we can go down is to prove they are ours and allow the borough to keep them up there."
Members agreed a letter should be sent to the borough council stating the town council feels it owns the objects, but wants the borough to continue to look after and insure them.
Tewkesbury Borough Council's democratic services manager Lin O'Brien said the letter had not been received but it would work with the town council to resolve any issues.