Council ‘s robes issue

COST-cutting councillors have frozen plans to spend hundreds of pounds on new civic robes. They will now have to ‘mend and make do’ until at least 2013-14 when the state of Worthing Borough Council’s official clothing will be reviewed.

The change in heart came as the council sought to slash spending, which could include the closure of the Connaught Theatre and Assembly Hall. The overview and scrutiny committee had earlier ruled that one of two of the most worn robes, which had turned from black to a strange green tinge, should be replaced every year.

But the proposal was put on hold at the council’s annual budget meeting.

Cllr Steve Waight, cabinet member for resources, said: “With the two difficult financial years we face I think it would be inappropriate for us to be spending money on replacing robes.”

Cllr Bob Smytherman said: “I think this is sensible. I sincerely hope when we look at it again in 2013 this council will come to its senses and realise civic regalia is out of date and should be scrapped.”

Cllr Hazel Thorpe said: “We should be looking at ways we can repair and refurbish our gowns so they don’t look green and out of date. I certainly don’t agree with Cllr Smytherman because I do believe we need to uphold the traditions of our good and worthy town.”