Margate Charter Trustees reveal £2k cost of Tracey Emin Freewoman ceremony after public enquiries

Tracey Emin and mayor Cllr Heather Keen Photo Frank Leppard

Margate Charter Trustees spent £2,084 on the ceremony declaring artist Tracey Emin as a Freewoman of the town.

The Trustees say they are releasing the figure after receiving public enquiries about the sum spent.

The money paid for ceremonial attire, a badge and framed scroll while event space, the red carpet, chairs and photography by Frank Leppard was all provided free of charge.

Margate Charter Trustees conferred Tracey Emin with the title at a ceremony on (August 12 held at the artist’s studio in Union Crescent.

Ms Emin received the honour in recognition of her international acclaim as an artist and her investment in the cultural and physical environment of Margate.

It was the first time that the Charter Trustees  conferred the honour and Ms Emin is only the fourth woman ever to receive it. The three previous recipients were honoured by the Borough of Margate.

A statement from the Margate Charter Trustees says: “The decision to award Tracey Emin CBE RA as freewoman of Margate was unanimously made by the  Charter Trustees at a meeting on July 11.

“Tracey was chosen for this award as an internationally recognised artist who has made an important contribution to the town in her support of the artistic community.

“The Charter Trustees have received enquiries into the cost of the event and we are happy to share this information.

“Transparency is a key Nolan Principle that governs good practice in public life, the Mayor and Deputy Mayor of Margate on behalf of the Charter Trustees are keen to ensure the organisation is as transparent as possible.

“The cost of the ceremonial attire, badge and framed scroll comes to £2,084.19. The event space was offered for free, the red carpet was loaned for the event for free, the chairs provided for free, and the photography was provided for free by Frank Leppard. Refreshments were provided by Ms Emin CBE RA, Freewoman of Margate.

“The Mayor and Charter Trustees are very conscious of their responsibilities in spending public money, especially in these difficult times. We have a Mayor’s charity fund which we regularly fundraise for and encourage local groups and organisations to apply to via using the Mayor’s fund form.”

Former councillor Ian Driver says he sent the Freedom of Information request asking for the cost breakdown.