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Newly robed mayor's advice

PUBLISHED: 15:29 27 October 2001 | UPDATED: 10:45 03 March 2010

A FELLOW Suffolk mayor has some advice for Woodbridge's 'naked chief' following his complaint that lack of ceremonial robes left him feeling underdressed - get your town's businessmen to foot the bill.

A FELLOW Suffolk mayor has some advice for Woodbridge's 'naked chief' following his complaint that lack of ceremonial robes left him feeling underdressed - get your town's businessmen to foot the bill.

This is exactly what John Drake, Stowmarket's civic leader, did as he told of his sympathy with his counterpart Les Binns, after reading in the Star of the mayoral predicament in Woodbridge.

He said: "It was always embarrassing walking in processions with other mayors when all you had was a civic chain of office and they were all their finery and you had just a chain."

However, Woodbridge Town Council thought the council's money would be better spent on bins for dog mess and litter, street lights, and renovations to the historic Shire Hall – despite Mr Binns' observations that the mayor should be robed "for the dignity of the town."

This struck a chord with Mr Drake, who said he remained grateful for the intervention of Stowmarket's chamber of commerce chairman Richard Wallace by coming up with the cash – thus sparing council funds.

"It was a nice touch when the Chamber of Commerce offered to pay the £500 necessary for new civic robes. It was a very nice gesture and now I've got them I think all mayor's should have them."

As one of Stowmarket's most important dignitaries, in September the town council felt the mayor should be appropriately dressed – especially as down the road Needham Market had kitted out their foremost citizen in the fur-lined, civic red ceremonial garb – and tricorn or three-pointed hat, of course – a year before.

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