A FIVE-FIGURE windfall could be on the cards for the council with the sale of the mayoral number plate ‘DY1’, which it is believed could net in excess of £50,000.
Brighton and Hove City Council made £85,000 from the sale of registration number ‘CD1’ in April this year, while Essex County Council sold ‘F1’ for a record £375,000 in 2008.
“Whether DY1 will be in the Brighton league or the Essex league is hard to say,” said Hastings Borough Council leader Jeremy Birch at the cabinet meeting on Monday (July 8), where there was a unanimous vote in favour of the sale.
‘DY’ was the code for Hastings under the old numbering system, and generally the fewer characters on a number plate, the more valuable it is.
A report presented to the cabinet by head of finance Peter Grace states that the council could reasonably expect to achieve in excess of £50,000 from the sale of the DY1 registration number.
The plan is for the number plate ‘DY1066’ to be transferred to the civic car, used largely by the mayor on official business, in its place.
Cllr Birch added: “We are fortunate that we have got a more identifiable number plate.”
It was also agreed that an advert should be placed in the Observer inviting anyone with evidence of ownership to submit it.
This is because although the number plate was given to the council years ago, there have been unproven claims of ownership by other parties.
The report also recommends that the best way of disposing of the number plate would be through a specialist seller, though based on the experience of Brighton and Hove City Council, it could take up to two years to achieve a sale at an acceptable price.
Proceeds are to be used to benefit the residents of the borough, though the uncertainty surrounding the amount and timescale, means details remain to be fixed.
The decision to sell the number plate was made in response to a motion put forward by leader of the Conservatives Councillor Andrew Gurney.
Councillor Rob Cooke, deputy leader of the Conservatives, requested that he be involved in discussions surrounding the sale.
Cllr Birch declined his request and, referring to the decision of the Conservative party in May to pull out of cabinet meetings, said: “You say publicly the cabinet is a waste of your time.
“I wouldn’t want to waste your time involving you in another meeting.”