Hire car could follow Jaguar

Cut: The current mayoral car, above, a Jaguar S-type, could be replaced by a hire car
Cut: The current mayoral car, above, a Jaguar S-type, could be replaced by a hire car
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Preston’s next mayor could see their Jaguar replaced for a hire car in a bid to help cut costs.

Guild Mayor Carl Crompton is currently driven to civic events in an S-type Jaguar, leased at a cost of around £595 per month.

Asked if the current car could be downgraded to help meet forecasted savings in the departmental budget of £50,000, Coun Martyn Rawlinson, the council’s cabinet member for finance and resources, said: “It is possible.”

It comes after it was revealed Preston Council will raise council tax by two per cent in a bid to save £3m by 2016.

As part of that, the mayor’s overall budget will be cut with plans for redundancies in the mayoral office.

Last week the Evening Post revealed the next mayor will attend hundreds fewer community events.

Guild Mayor Carl Crompton has visited more than 400 events so far during his busy year in office.

However council bosses warned the future mayor is likely to have to cut back his or her engagements to around 150 a year in a bid to save cash on fuel.

Previous mayors raised concerns at a full council meeting last week that small community events could suffer without any civic recognition for their efforts

The next mayor who will take the post has not yet been announced.

Coun Rawlinson said: “As we are reducing the functions the major goes to we may not need a full time mayor’s car.

“We need to look at the most cost effective options for that post, like just hiring one from time to time for certain jobs.”

He said there would still be a car to drive the mayor to civic events, but full details would need to be looked at in more detail.

He said: “There will be a mayor’s car. Whether it belongs to us or it is leased or hired to us is a different matter.

“We are not 100 per cent sure yet. But it might not be another Jaguar, given the difficult times we are in.”

Last year Town Hall bosses looked for a sponsor for the car.

The council spoke with a number of top-end car dealers to see if they would be willing to lease a car to the authority in exchange for sponsorship.

The authority did not find anyone to take them up on the plan.