Sheringham town mayor is left hurt after being told not to wear her ceremonial chain to the Crab and Lobster Festival
07:00 02 June 2014
Archant Norfolk 2014
The claws were out as a neighbouring town’s mayor was left hurt after being told not to wear her ceremonial chain at a seafaring festival.
According to custom, new Sheringham mayor Patricia Brooks asked former Cromer mayor David Pritchard if she could wear the chain to the Crab and Lobster Festival on May 16 in Cromer.
But after Cromer donated £2,000 and Sheringham Town Council refused to contribute towards the joint venture between the two towns, she was told not to wear her chain.
Mrs Brooks, who became mayor on May 6, said she was upset and disappointed but wanted to maintain a good relationship between the towns.
She said: “I had asked because I had an invitation and I received an email which said no, we don’t want you to wear the chain.
“Having only been a mayor for a week it was very hard. I replied saying I was disappointed but I wish to have a good relationship with Cromer.
“My whole attitude is about holding out my arms to people. I wanted to do that with the crab and lobster festival and although we can’t give finance we will give as much help in kind as we can.”
Speaking at a Cromer Town Council meeting, councillor Hilary Cox said she was disappointed Mrs Brooks was denied permission.
She said: “It was despicable. I know Sheringham did not give the money we had hoped and haven’t supported it in the last few years but it was a shame for someone not to wear it.”
The fifth annual festival took place in Cromer on the first day and Sheringham on the second.
Mrs Brooks was denied permission after Cromer Town Council approved a £2,000 grant to the festival but the neighbouring town decided not to.
Sheringham Town Council refused the grant application because it was “unwise” to give taxpayers’ money to an event that made a surplus profit which was donated to local charities.
Mr Pritchard, whose term in office ended in May, said his objection was not against Mrs Brooks.
He said: “My objection was the fact that Cromer taxpayers are contributing towards an event that benefits both towns.”
He said on his last day as mayor he approved a request for Mrs Brooks to wear her chain at the Cromer Pier production of Oliver!
Festival chairman Tony Shipp said it would have been nice for Mrs Brooks to wear her chain but it was not for him to say whether she did or not.
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