The cost of the mayor’s car in Cheshire East has fallen dramatically since the mayoral Bentley was dropped.
A freedom of information request to the council revealed that up to February 2020, the council leased a Bentley Continental directly from Bentley Motors.
Since February 2020 the council had hired a car for mayoral use as necessary – and the costs have plummeted.
In 2018/19 the cost for the Bentley was £21,580, and in 2019/20 £17,516 – but in 2020/21 (during lockdown) this fell to £1,396, rising in 2021/22 to £4,901.
The unidentified application for the information was told that the make and model of mayoral car varied, but at present the council was using a Vauxhall Grandland X.
Excluding the period covered by the pandemic, the vehicle is on average used four of five days a week, to transport the mayor, sometimes the deputy mayor.
The council does not employ any drivers but does employ two part-time mayoral attendants, who undertake a range of duties, and on occasion deliver urgent council papers and assist more generally with the work of democratic services, the council service in which they are based.
They also have responsibility for mayoral regalia (including on occasion giving talks on the history of the mayoralty and mayoral regalia), advising those organising events that the mayor attends, accompanying the mayor on official engagements and assisting during council meetings.