SKIPTON Town Council is to review the use of its mayoral chains after several diamonds from the 90 year old civic badge went missing.

Two years ago, the pendant badge of the original Skipton Urban District Council had to be repaired at a cost of £6,000 after it became detached from the chains when the then mayor Cllr Martin Emmerson was attending Yorkshire Day celebrations in Halifax.

The jewel encrusted pendant was caught up in a lawnmower and returned to a grateful council which in addition to having it repaired took the opportunity to have the chains expertly cleaned.

Now, the diamond star design on the pendant, which dates back to the 1930s, has been lost, while last year's mayor, Cllr Alan Hickman was on an official engagement in Steeton in early April.

The loss only came to light at last week's annual meeting of the town council after Cllr Emmerson asked when it had happened.

Cllr Hickman, who had just ended his year as town mayor, told the meeting: "I went out with the jewel in place and came back without it," adding that it had not been made public at the time because it was before the local elections.

Dave Parker, chief officer of Skipton Town Council, speaking afterwards, said there were quite strict rules on the issue of council press releases on the run up to an election, particularly where an individual candidate could have been identified, as was the case with the lost jewels.

“Unfortunately, it was recently discovered that a number of jewels on the mayoral chain had become detached from the main pendant and have been lost.

"The loss was discovered by a staff member performing a routine check of the chains – and it appears that it happened whilst the chains were in use by former mayor Cllr Alan Hickman at an official mayoral engagement."

He said despite detailed inquiries at the locations attended by the mayor, the missing jewels were not found.

He added: “As a matter of course the loss was notified to both the police and the council’s insurers. The council is currently awaiting a report from a specialist firm of jewellers to ascertain the value of the jewels dislodged from the pendant and the likely cost of replacing them. "The required repairs will be made as soon as possible. The chains are fully insured and the council will be evaluating its protocols regarding future use of the chains.”

The pendant badge was originally made for the former Skipton Urban District Council and dates back to the 1930s. It was incorporated into the new Skipton Town Council chain following local government reorganisation in 1974.

When the pendant was repaired in 2017, the council also took the opportunity to have new additional gold links made and for the chain to be updated with the names of more recent mayors.