Published: 14:19, 10 September 2017 |
Updated: 14:43, 10 September 2017
A council is considering shelling out £1,430 for an “inexcusable” mayoral robe made with real fur, sparking a backlash from animal rights campaigners.
A fake fur robe costing £1,180 is also up for consideration with Hythe town councillors next week.
Members rubber stamped the purchase on Friday, after mayor Paul Peacock reported the robe was in a state of disrepair.
They will decide whether to use real or fake fur at a meeting this week.
“The Mayoress had stitched it up where possible, but it would probably not survive another clean,” says official meeting minutes.
Mayor for Folkestone Roger West and animal rights charity Peta criticised the spending of taxpayers' money.
Mr West said:“I don’t think there is anything wrong with the existing robe.
“It didn’t look too bad to me when I saw it a week ago.
“We haven’t changed our robe for ten years, they are only worn about six or seven times a year.
“I would be upset if they bought a real fur one.”
Elisa Allen, director for Peta, branded the use of musquash “inexcusable” and urged the mayor to be compassionate.
Musquash is the name of the fur that comes from the muskrat – a north American rodent.
Additionally Ms Allen said there is “no sound logic” to use ceremonial robes lined with real fur.
She explained: “It is inexcusable and an act of sheer indifference to public opinion for British representatives to wear garments that so conflict with British values.
“We urge the mayor to follow the compassionate example of many other public servants who have requested for their robes to be lined with faux fur.”
When residents took to Facebook to vent their fury over the spending, Councillor Peacock said in a statement he was “surprised” by the backlash.
He continued: “(It’s) such a shame to try and diminish this honour.
“Whenever there is a public civic function or event residents and visitors seem to appreciate the tradition of our place in history as a premier Cinque Port and enjoy seeing it celebrated with all the regalia.
“All the Cinque Port Towns cherish this honour and are proud to uphold it.
“For school children it brings history alive and they are usually fascinated by the whole thing.”
Council members will decide on the new robe at Hythe Town Hall from 6.45pm on Thursday.
The options are £1,430 for a trimmed black velvet and musquash robe or £1,180 for trimmed black velvet and fake fur.
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.