Out-reg: Greens propose flogging Provost’s £500,000 personal plate

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A LORD provost’s number plate is set to be sold off in a bid to raise cash from a council’s ‘truly useless assets.’

The ‘S0’ registration of Edinburgh’s provost, valued at £500,000, would be sold under plans put forward by the city’s Green party.

The sale, unveiled as part of the party’s manifesto for local elections in May, is designed to raise money for the cash-strapped council.

Provost George Grubb would lose the plate from his BMW 7 series saloon under the plans.

Provost George Grubb would lose his personal license plate if the Greens have their way

 

Green councillor Steve Burgess said the party wanted to review the council’s assets of no practical use.

He said: “With council funding being cut and public facilities being closed down, now is the right time to sell off the council’s truly useless assets and raise much needed funds.”

“Any council hoarding a number plate worth half a million pounds has got its priorities wrong.”

In 2008 auction house Bonham’s valued the S0 plate at £500,000, after M1 and S1 were sold for £400,000 respectively.

“F1,” formerly owned by Essex Council, was bought by businessman Afzal Khan for £440,625 in 2008.

The council owns the S0 plate after it missed out on buying S1 when number plates were introduced in 1903.

Scotland had been assigned the S prefix, but prominent businessman Sir John HA MacDonald quickly snapped up the S1 registration.

“S1” was sold for just under £400,000 when it went under the hammer in 2008.

Glasgow’s Lord Provost also receives a “G0” plate, and the provosts’registrations are the only two known cases where a zero has been issued.

Labour councillor Andrew Burns said: “Frankly there are much bigger issues facing the city, but if there is a proposal brought forward to auction the plates it’s something we’d consider.”

Conservative economic development spokesman councillor Jason Rust said: “Different things have to be looked at in terms of savings and this could be explored.”

A council spokeswoman said “the number plates are of historical value to the city” and there were no plans to sell them.

In January this year the council backtracked on plans to commission portraits of Lord Provost Grubb and his predecessor Lesley Hinds worth up to £30,000.

The plans were branded a vanity project by furious councillors, who ordered the council to reconsider the bid.

The portraits were replaced with photographs costing £300 and £500.

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