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  • "
    Papermill wrote:
    TDH123 wrote:
    With respect to Mrs Tibbutt and 63 year old Mr Baker, do they really deter robbery or theft of the Mayoral chain??
    TDH123 - As someone who knows Mr Baker pwesonally - i suggest you ask him to open his sports bag when you next see him. Then tell the public he's not equipped to protect the Mayor or indded anyone else who happens to be in his company at the time.
    Intriguing . . what does he have in his sports bag . . do tell!!"
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‘Mistake’ in cutting role of protector

‘Mistake’ in cutting role of protector

DIGNITY: The Mayor of Worcester's personal protector

DIGNITY: The Mayor of Worcester's personal protector

First published in News

A DECISION to axe the role of Mayor of Worcester’s personal protector “was a bad mistake” and should be reversed, according to a former first citizen of the city.

Councillor Aubrey Tarbuck, who had the role in 2005-06, said it lacks the dignity it once had, three years on from the surprise move.

In 2009, Stephen Baker, the former mayor’s officer, was made redundant as part of a plan to save £21,000 from the budget. The role had dated back 140 years, with the job being to act as a protector for both the mayor and the 18-carat treasure chain he wears.

For the insurance to be valid, there must be someone accompanying the mayor to put off a would-be thief. That means Councillor David+Tibbutt, who has just stepped down from the role after attending 500 engagements, has had to be joined by his wife Jane, or a member of the Guildhall staff. The decision was made by the ruling Conservative group, of which Coun Tarbuck is a member. He said: “What’s clear to me now is that it was a bad mistake. When I was the Mayor of Worcester, Stephen did a great job, he drove me around and sometimes I’d do five engagements in a day.

“He’d also be there to protect me, too. I would hope we could all look back and realise it was a mistake.” Mr Baker, aged 63, said: “I know that, privately, people in the council are admitting it was a bad decision.”

Coun Tibbutt said: “It’s a matter of discussion and debate, but you’d have to bear in mind the costs of running a mayoral car and employing someone against the actual need. “When my wife was not able to be with me I’d have someone from the Guildhall come along to make sure I wasn’t on my own.

“In terms of dignity, I can see the point but I’ve been able to drive myself.” With the budget already set for the year, there is little chance of it being reversed. Coun Andrew Rob-erts, cabinet member for finance, said: “I was the Mayor of Worcester the year after we lost Stephen and we did miss him a lot. The mayor is a figurehead, but in this climate it would be unfeeling for councillors not to make sacrifices and take a hit.”

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