Deputy mayor calls for Northampton council's NH1 number plate - thought to be worth £400k - to be valued

The deputy mayor believes the number plate on the borough council's civic vehicle needs to be valued properly, so a decision can be made on whether to sell it.

The deputy mayor believes the number plate on the borough council's civic vehicle needs to be valued properly, so a decision can be made on whether to sell it.

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Calls are being made to get the controversial NH1 numberplate adorning Northampton's mayoral limousine valued, after various estimates have predicted it could raise up to £400,000.

Back in June the plate, fixed to the claret Jaguar used to convey the borough council's mayors to civic events, was the subject of a petition after the borough council cut the budget to the now closed Shopmobility scheme in the town.

Councillor Gareth Eales.

Councillor Gareth Eales.

Various estimates have valued the plate at between £250,000 and £400,000 and campaigners mounted a bid to "flog the plate" in order to keep services such as Shopmobility afloat.

Now deputy mayor Councillor Gareth Eales (Lab, Spencer) has issued a motion calling for item to be independently valued.

He said: "When something like Shopmobility can't exist because of a lack of funding, and we have this asset with a potential value of between three and four hundred thousand, it has to be with looking into.

"The motion isn't calling for it just to be got rid of. But it is asking that we make an informed decision.

"It has been brought up several times at the council in recent memory."

Councillor Eales said there are question marks over the ownership of the plate, but added: "that didn't stop the Sekhemka sale."

His two-pronged motion also calls for the council to consider making the mayor's limousine "fully electric" at a time in the future.

"It's about sending the right message," he said. "We know we have got to cut carbon emissions in the town.

"I think the first citizen's vehicle, should be setting a standard."

Councillor Eales said his motion does not intend to diminish the role of the mayor however and he believes the council should still keep a limousine for that position.

He said: "I think there is an argument to keep the vehicle. Personally, I would get the bus, I don't have any airs or graces, but the car does complement the role. It gives that wow factor when the mayor turns up.

"I just think we have to get the balance right."