Forget the NH1 number plate - does the mayor of Northampton even need a limo at all?

The inside of a new Jaguar XJ - the car currently used by Northampton Borough Council's mayor for civic functions. It cost �38k, but is it worth the price tag?
The inside of a new Jaguar XJ - the car currently used by Northampton Borough Council's mayor for civic functions. It cost �38k, but is it worth the price tag?
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Have your say

It was bought for £38,000, its number plate could be worth £400,000 and it costs around £11,000 to run a year. So does Northampton’s mayor need a limousine? You decide in our Chron poll.

Yesterday the borough councillor’s deputy mayor called for the controversial NH1 number plate adorning the front of the claret Jaguar to be valued, so the council could look at selling it. But after a flurry of responses from Chron readers, we wanted to expand the subject, to ask whether the Northampton’s mayor really needs a limo to take him or her to civic functions at all?

To help you make your decision in our poll here, the current mayoral car was bought for £38,000 in 2014 after the previous Jag was involved in a car crash.

In defence of the first citizen’s vehicle, a borough council spokeswoman said the mayor of Northampton - currently Councillor Christopher Malpas - is invited to more than 300 official engagements each year.

The mayor is the only person who uses the car and it is only used for attending one of these engagements.

The spokeswoman added: “The mayoral car offers a practical and cost-effective transport option when compared to regularly using taxis or hired vehicles. We do work very hard as a council, to cut our own costs and give the taxpayer best value for every pound we spend.

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.

“The annual cost to the borough council, including fuel, maintenance, and other running costs such as road tax, totals approximately £1,500.”

On top of that however it cost £9,500 to run the car in terms of staff costs in 2015/16.

Councillor Eales believes there is a place for the mayoral car still, as the role still carries a certain prestige.

While the previous limo was out of action in 2014, then mayor Councillor Les Marriott claimed to have turned up to civic functions in everything from a Volkswagen Passat to a regular black cab.

But more than 40 of you commented on our Facebook page about the bid to get the NH1 number plate valued yesterday and many of you broadened your responses to talk about the mayor’s car itself.

Brian Cove, said: “Sell the plate and the car. Both are a needless expense when the council are constantly informing us that we have a very good public transport system.”

So to cast your say, take part in our poll above.