Royal Sheffield visit cost city council £30,000, figures show

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended the Royal Maundy Service at Sheffield Cathedral on Thursday 2nd April 2015. Her Majesty The Queen distributes the Maundy money.

Her Majesty The Queen and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh attended the Royal Maundy Service at Sheffield Cathedral on Thursday 2nd April 2015. Her Majesty The Queen distributes the Maundy money.

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The Royal visit to Sheffield for Maundy Thursday cost Sheffield Council £30,000 new figures have shown.

The highest cost for the visit by The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was £5,113 for a meal and refreshments – but £4,088 was also spent on barriers and £4,000 on highways works or closing roads.

Removing bins and grit bins cost £2,668 and clearing graffiti from council-owned land was another £2,000.

The figures were requested from the council by city resident Chris Williams after The Queen visited Sheffield Cathedral last month to hand out traditional Maundy money to 178 community stalwarts and attending a special service.

The council’s costs also include £400 spent on a string quartet to play as the meal of quiche, chicken and leek pie and Queen of Puddings was served in Sheffield Town Hall, £500 on radios for council staff and £400 on flags.

But they do not include the cost of extra security and policing, which is likely to exceed £30,000.

The council said 12,000 extra people came in to the city centre on that day and the economic impact ‘cannot be underestimated.’

Mr Williams said: “I had a letter through my door explaining why they had to put council tax up above inflation and basically saying they were broke, they have no money and have to protect services.

“If that’s true why did they spend £30,000 on the Queen coming to visit?

“I don’t think any Sheffield resident would approve of this expenditure given the claimed financial hardship the council is in.”

Most of the council’s costs were on safety at £20,357, with £8,602 on hospitality and £1,780 on marketing.

Richard Eyre, head of city centre management and major events at the council, said: “As well as being a hugely significant event for the Church of England, the Royal Maundy event was of great importance to Sheffield as a major European city.

“More than 10,000 people came to the city centre that day to welcome the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh .

“We know the average daily footfall for Fargate on a Thursday is 30,264, but an automated counter showed a footfall of 42,234 on April 2.

“The economic impact of these additional visitors for Sheffield cannot be underestimated.

“It was an honour and a privilege to showcase Sheffield in its best light to our Royal visitors and I know the event will live long in the memory of all who lined the streets to enjoy this very special occasion.”

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