Mayor of Saffron Walden, Sarfraz Anjum, tries to calm row over chains with new rules
Copyright © 2016 Celia Bartlett Photography
Following controversy over the Saffron Walden chains of office being taken to Pakistan, town mayor Sarfraz Anjum has moved to introduce new rules regarding use of the trappings abroad.
Cllr Anjum came under fire after appearing on social media and a Pakistani news channel wearing the chain during a visit to Lahore, which the town’s Conservative councillors claimed was unofficial.
Cllr Anjum denied breaking any rules and has now proposed a motion to draw up a clear procedure for the mayor’s and deputy mayor’s chains on visits abroad.
The motion, which will be debated at the next full town council meeting on Monday, October 10, proposes that the mayor or deputy mayor inform the full town council prior to visits involving the chains outside of the UK, and that agreement must be obtained.
Cllr Anjum said: “It is very unfortunate that people are being deliberately misled about the mayor’s chain being taken aboard on a mayoral visit.
“To be clear, no protocols were broken and the chain is back safe and sound with the town.
“I am in favour of introducing a transparent mechanism which will introduce protocols for the use of the mayoral chain and deputy mayoral chain.
“Accordingly, I have submitted a comprehensive motion to the council which it is hoped will receive cross-party support, as we should not make a political issue out of the use of the chain.”
A statement on the Saffron Walden Conservatives website, released on September 26, read: “There are clear rules, in the Regalia handbook, about when the chain is worn and the Town Clerk will know and agree any exceptions, both in the UK and overseas, and the chairman of the assets and services committee would be advised including the costs of any additional insurance.”