A FORMER Skipton town mayor who was in charge of the mayoral chains in April when the star-shaped diamond fixing on the pendant was lost, has asked that the police be approached again to conduct a further investigation.

The missing part is 18 carat gold with 31 diamonds set in a fixing measuring 35mm by 31mm.

It was attached to the main pendant by three pins. One pin had sheared off and the other two were missing.

It has an estimated replacement value of £9,552, and had been reported missing after Cllr Hickman had attended a civic engagement at Steeton Hall.

The function was the annual charter lunch for Skipton Soroptimists.

The value of the full chain is around £40,000.

The loss only came to light at May’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.”

At last week’s full council meeting, members were told the police had been notified as well as the council’s insurance company.

The insurance company had seemed happy to reimburse the loss on a like-for-like basis.

The council had just had its three-year insurance policy renewed and there had been no increase in cost.

Cllr Hickman said he was concerned that people thought he had taken them and said a few people outside the council had made remarks which upset him.

“I would like to request that there should be another police investigation to clear my name,” he said.

“I will, quite happily, have my financial transactions looked at going back as far as they wish,” he added.

Members were told office staff had discussed the mayor’s movements over the period between the chains leaving the office, where they are stored, and the loss being discovered and made ‘appropriate’ enquiries. The mayor retraced all steps, including making a personal visit to Steeton Hall to consult staff, there.

Members were asked whether they wanted to get quotes on having a replica pendant made which could be used on engagements outside the district. Current mayor Cllr Peter Madeley said it would be a safer alternative.

“The pendant should not go out of town,” he said.

It was also suggested that a member of staff accompany the mayor on local engagements when the real pendant was used as ‘people now know the value of the article’.

A suggestion by Cllr Richard Judge suggested hiring a security company to accompany the mayor on engagements was thought to be too costly, and that a member of staff could do the same job.

Members voted to consider amendments to the mayoral chains protocol - such as having a replica pendant to wear on engagements outside the town - contacting the police to ask for another investigation and obtain quotes from jewellers Fattorini for a replica pendent using imitation diamonds.

The matter will go to the finance and policy committee before coming back to full council.