Bentley Flying Spur - CEC mayoral car

The leader of Cheshire East Council insists the authority wants to continue its strong working relationship with Bentley Motors amid doubts over the borough’s mayoralty, writes Stephen Topping.

Cheshire East’s mayoral car has been supplied by Crewe-based Bentley since the authority was launched a decade ago.

But the council’s running of such an expensive car has come under fire in recent years.

Labour – which now runs CEC in a coalition with the Independent Group – proposed scrapping the Cheshire East mayoralty in its manifesto for May’s election.

At Tuesday’s cabinet meeting, Conservative Cllr David Brown urged the cabinet not to cut the council’s close ties with the luxury carmaker.

“I think we all know that Bentley is one of the most prestigious companies we’ve got in our borough,” he said.

“Certainly, over the last eight years we have had a very close working relationship with them, so close in fact that they actually decided to invest in Crewe.

“They are one of the major employers in the area with over 4,000 employees – so I met with some trepidation, I suppose, when somebody told me we were getting rid of the Bentley.”

Bentley – which won the go-ahead for expansion plans in Crewe last April – leases the mayoral car to CEC ‘on very favourable terms’, Cllr Brown said, with the car regularly exchanged for a newer model.

He told cabinet he had heard a rumour the Bentley is “being replaced by an Audi” with the lease on CEC’s Bentley now “more or less up for renewal”.

But Kath O’Dwyer, CEC’s acting chief executive, told Cllr Brown no decisions had been taken on the mayoralty or its car.

Instead, the council’s constitution committee is due to discuss the role, its functions and its transport at a future meeting.

Cllr Sam Corcoran, CEC’s Labour leader, moved to reassure Cllr Brown that he wanted to keep up the council’s strong ties with Bentley – and suggested that the borough’s mayoralty might not be axed.

He said: “The Labour group manifesto for CEC did include a commitment to abolish the mayoralty, so I can understand why this speculation is happening.

“However, I don’t wish to go off at half cock, and I don’t think we will be abolishing the mayoralty.

“But obviously that manifesto suggestion raises concerns – we will address those concerns in due course.

“I’m keen that this council will continue to have good links with Bentley.”

CEC came under fire from the TaxPayers’ Alliance last year, after a Freedom of Information request submitted by the lobbyists revealed the council spent a total of £67,980.50 on running a Bentley Flying Spur between April 2015 and March 2018.

8 Comments

  1. If you are prepared to scrap the biggest car in the world you may as well scrap the Mayor as well, what is the point of having a Mayor? They turn up for an event funded not by them but by other people, it’s dead money. Its costing the people of Cheshire East to have a Mayor and they serve no purpose, we pay for a figure head to posture around and they have no waft what so ever.

  2. This labour led council will end up faltering on their manifesto promises as labour always does. However unlike when labour were in central government I think this labour council will try to cut expenses for luxury cars. Mayoral vehicle can still be built in Crewe – a Whitby ice cream van with all the tunes too!

  3. Kind of feel sick to the stomach that our Council is worrying about getting rid of the Bentley whilst the same Council knowingly underspends on schools per child UNDER the government’s recommended amount 😠.

  4. You need to maintain ties with your biggest employer and keep a mayor and a car. For god’s sake what is wrong with labour !

  5. I bet it cost more to buy a car an maintain it than £23 per year for the borough anyway and it would not be anyway near as impressive. The Borough get far more than a car by this relationship, brand and reputation is everything and should be the aspiration of the region to go up not down. Surely all the new families moving to the Cheshire East area and Crewe and Nantwich in particular are happy with this anyway, I am.

  6. ……C’mon stop the wool pulling – Bentley isn’t going to leave Crewe just because Cheshire East might be forced to cut back on an expensive vehicle. Bentley”s are for those that can afford them, not supposedley cash-strapped, service cutting councils.

  7. Everybody knows Audi own Bentley so the mayor and co will still be paying the company just for a less prestigious motor, the scandal is that they pay anything for the car, the only reason people buy bentleys is because they are hand built in Crewe,if Audi moved production elsewhere the rich elites would not want to buy, who wants a Bulgarian Bentley? No one that’s who.

    • VW own Bentley And Audi. And don’t kid yourself that people wouldn’t buy Bentleys built abroad. None cared that Porsche production moved out of Germany they still bought them. Plus a few thousand Bentleys have a already been built outside of the UK!

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