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Is it right to put a price on the Freedom of Haringey?

PUBLISHED: 12:55 22 May 2008 | UPDATED: 15:06 07 September 2010

CLLR Sheila Peacock s suggestion that the Freedom of Haringey could be sold for £100 to raise money for charity, should be taken with a pinch of salt. The former mayor is no stranger to controversy, and there will be people whose response is: That s all

CLLR Sheila Peacock's suggestion that the Freedom of Haringey could be sold for £100 to raise money for charity, should be taken with a pinch of salt. The former mayor is no stranger to controversy, and there will be people whose response is: ''That's all it's worth'' - even if tea and buns with the mayor was included in the deal.

Still, she could have chosen a better occasion than the annual mayor-making to come up with such an eyebrow-raising scheme to boost the mayor's charity.

The award of the Freedom of the Borough is supposed to be a prestigious 'money-can't-buy' accolade, a bit like becoming mayor. What would Sheila and other former or potential mayors think if the office of first citizen was up for sale to the highest bidder in future?

Undoubtedly they would feel that it's significance had been undermined and demeaned, and that being mayor was no longer the exceptional honour it used to be.

Again, it's best not to take the idea too seriously. Had she properly thought it through, Cllr Peacock would have realised that if the honour was for sale, there would be no surefire way of preventing some of the borough's more dubious citizens from receiving The Freedom. What an embarrassment that could prove to be.

Even the borough's Public Enemy Number One, Barnet and Camden Assemblyman Brian Coleman, could apply - despite his 'ghastly Haringey' description of the borough in an interview with the Ham&High last week.

Come to think of it, Mr Coleman might be prepared to pay £100 to avoid being given the Freedom of Haringey. Now there's a novel way to raise money, Sheila ...


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