'Too expensive': Plans for Wem town crier are axed

A council plan for a new town crier for Wem has been axed because it would be too expensive.

Shrewsbury Town Crier Martin Wood
Shrewsbury Town Crier Martin Wood

Wem Town Council was considering asking Shrewsbury's town crier Martin Wood to cover their town as well.

Mr Wood, who at 7ft 2ins is the tallest in his profession, has been a town crier for more 30 years.

However at a meeting of Wem Town Council some councillors said the plans were not a good use of public money.

Penny O'Hagan, clerk to Wem Town Council, said there was no money in the budget for a town crier this year.

Councillor John Murray, speaking at the meeting on Thursday night, said: "I think it is a good idea to raise the profile of the town.

"I think it would be money well spent.

"Everytime Martin Wood has been to an event in Wem he has been excellent.

"I think we should take it to next year's budget meeting."

However other councillors did not agree with councillor Murray.

Pauline Dee, Shropshire councillor for Wem, said she had concerns about the plans.

She said: "We are looking for funding to keep vital services running so it would be hard to find money for things like a town crier.

"We do a great job ourselves promoting the town and do all we can.

"I don't think we need a town crier.

"I don't think we can financially take this one on."

Councillors voted to scrap the idea.

Also at the meeting councillors discussed plans for the introduction of past mayor badges.

Mrs O'Hagan said it would cost about £30 per badge to produce.

Councillor Edward Towers, mayor of Wem, said: "I think we should write to the past mayors and see if it is something they would like as a thank you."

However, councillor Chris Mellings, Shropshire councillor for Wem, did not agree with the plans.

He said: "Yes it is a great honour to be mayor and we get this recorded on a board. For me personally I think that is enough and I don't think we should spend the public's money on it."

Wem town councillor Connie Granger said: "I think it is a good recognition of the work we do. We all work long hours for nothing."

The town council agree to look into the idea of a past mayor badge as well as looking at producing a certificate instead for former mayors as this would be less costly.

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