Can you put a price on the prestige and pride a city feels when The Queen comes to visit?
It would appear so after Star reader Chris Williams put in a Freedom of Information request to find out the cost of Her Majesty’s visit to Sheffield on Maundy Thursday last month.
The request was a valid one and it finds out some interesting information in the costs to the city council.
The Royal visit to Sheffield cost £30,000, figures have now shown.
The highest charge for the visit by The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh was £5,113 on 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 another £2,000.
Now, as Mr Williams points out, at a time of financial hardship when the message pleaded by the council is one of poverty then is it wise to spend this kind of money?
The answer is a resounding yes.
A visit by The Queen is about more than money.
Her Majesty was at Sheffield Cathedral for Maundy Thursday to hand out traditional Maundy money to 178 community stalwarts in a special service that dates back to the 17th century.
The city centre was packed out with people who may ordinarily not have been in Sheffield that day.
National press and media, as well as ourselves and rest the local media, covered the event and shone the spotlight in a positive way on the city. The Queen is a hugely popular figure and, in an historical context, is one of our greatest and longest-serving monarchs.
Her Majesty’s visits to a village, town or city are rare occurrences and should always be cherished whenever they come around.
Of course the £30,000 could have been spent on other things but on this occasion the money is definitely well spent and we hope to welcome The Queen back to our region at the earliest opportunity.
* There’s no doubt that people will have raised an eyebrow when they heard the news that South Yorkshire Police are shortlisted for PR work around their Child Sexual Exploitation campaign. We’re all for celebrating achievements, and we congratulate the force on the other awards they have been shortlisted for, but maybe with public anger still being so raw the timing of entering the CSE campaign is questionable.