THE Deputy Mayor of Basildon Council is appealing for the safe return of his £5,000 chain of office, which went missing in a village near Billericay.
Councillor Chris Jackman last had the chain when he attended the 100th anniversary of the 1st Ramsden and Downham Scout Group.
Shortly after the engagement, in Ramsden Bellhouse Village Hall, in Glebe Road, Cllr Jackman realised he no longer had the chain in his possession
The borough councillor, who represents the Wickford Park ward, has been searching for the chain since the celebration on April 29, but with no success.
He is now appealing to members of the public to help find the chain, which he fears may have been stolen.
If the civic symbol cannot be found, the Deputy Mayor has pledged to personally raise the money to fund its replacement.
Cllr Jackman said: "It is now over one month since the chain went missing. Over that time I have retraced my steps repeatedly and spoken to everyone I can think of – I have left no stone unturned, but the chain is nowhere to be found.
"I now fear it has either been stolen or somebody has taken it by mistake. I am particularly upset as the chain, apart from its monetary value, is an important civic symbol of our borough and therefore, of course, unique.
"I am now asking local people to help me find it and return it to the council, not just for my use but for that of future deputy mayors.
"If anyone knows of the chain's whereabouts or has information that could lead to its return please contact the Mayor's office on 01268 294354 or any local police station.
"And if the chain is not returned I have given an undertaking to personally raise the money for its replacement. I am also offering a small reward for the return of the chain or for information leading to its return."
The Deputy Mayor's chain has a blue ribbon approximately 2.5cm wide with the Basildon Borough Council crest in enamel, on a silver mount in the centre and is clearly labelled on the front and back.