Sometimes I just get hit by inspiration. Moments of absolute clarity are very few and far between, yet this evening I have experienced such a revelation. Let's see if you can have the same experience.
As you may well be aware, I'm lucky enough to call Canterbury home, it is a very nice city indeed. Rough Guide, or someone recently stated that it was the finest cathedral city in England, I'd find it hard to disagree. But it isn't without its problems, oh no, and we've got a very serious one. You see it would appear that the Mayoral robes are in a bit of a state.
But what's this? Those wonderful people at Canterbury City Council have hit upon a common sense solution to the problem.
Canterbury City Council is recommending that the Lord Mayor's robes be replaced at a cost of £17,000.
Oh, is that all? Just the seventeen thousand? Well why stop there? We could have a set for every day of the week.
Other options being considered are to clean and repair the current robe, or replace the the current robe body.
I'm trying desperately to think of another option.
Carry on reading, it'll come to me in a moment.
Cleaning and repairing the robe would cost £3,575, and £11,795 would pay for a a new robe body which is expected to last for 10 years.
Hang on, there's an idea forming. . .
Taken over the 20-year lifespan of the new robes, full replacement would be the cheapest option, the council said.
Ah-ha! That's it! There's the other option, and it is much, much cheaper.
Brace yourself. . .
(You know where this is going, don't you, you clever little blogreader, you?)
How about, not replacing them at all?
Do we really need to pay good money for an unelected mayor (OK, he's an elected councillor, but heaven forbid we should be able to directly elect him or her) to have some robes so they can ponce around like a cross between Dick Turpin and Liberace? (Apologies for the low-res picture which I've lifted from the Al-Jabeeba report.)
Really, in the 21st Century do we need people walking around in such a ridiculous get up at such cost to the public purse? Really?
Yes, I know everyone else has got one, but everyone else used to have an outside toilet and rickets, doesn't mean we had to do the same.
In these straightened times I'm wondering how much change you'd get out of seventeen grand once you've paid the wages of one of the guys who so lovingly tends the city's beautiful Westgate Gardens (pictured at the top), a public possession which benefits everyone? I'm betting there isn't a great deal of price difference between the two, and I'm betting I know which facility more people enjoy.
Really? Seventeen grand to play dress up? Give me strength.