Worthing council to keep civic robes for now

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COUNCILLORS have agreed to keep their civic robes, but they could still be scrapped.

Worthing Borough Council’s overview and scrutiny committee heard some of the robes were now threadbare and had turned from black to “a strong green tinge”.

After a sometimes heated debate, the committee voted to keep the robes and replace one or two of the most worn examples each year.

The cost of a new robe was between £400 and £500.

A report by Jeremy Cook, the council’s executive head of legal and democratic services, recommended ordinary councillors’ robes be scrapped from March 31.

But the mayor’s red robe and purple robes of past mayors should be kept.

The report said: “If the council is to maintain the tradition of all councillors wearing robes, then it is important they are of the quality to maintain the dignity of the office.

“In the current financial circumstances, there may be more important financial priorities.”

But Tom Wye, overview and scrutiny chairman, said: “I was against getting rid of them completely.

“Once you’ve got rid of them, you never get them back.”

The decision to keep the robes will now be debated by cabinet and full council, which will make the final decision.