Saturday, October 20, 2007

The royal toilet

A council has been caught short of cash after spending £5,000 on a toilet for the Queen - which she didn't even use.

Officials were left staggered when they totted up the cost of Her Majesty's visit to their town and realised it had cost them an astonishing £20,000 an hour.

Royal officials told trip organisers Her Majesty would not use an old toilet and insisted a new one be installed in the town hall before her visit - in case she needed a "royal wee".

But the brand new toilet remained unused during the three hour walkabout in Romsey, Hants.

The extra expense of the toilet added to the council's troubles as the cost of the visit escalated out of control.

The trip, marking the 400th anniversary of Romsey Town Council's Royal Charter, was expected to cost just £20,000.

But councillors were too embarrassed to cancel when they found out weeks before the Queen was due to arrive that the true cost would be a staggering £38,000 more.

Rule changes meant the police were no longer responsible for security costs and the council also had to pay for barriers, cones and even evacuation plans to be drawn up.

I would have told the Queen’s officials that if she didn’t like it no one was forcing her to come. Just because the queen wants to be a snob does not mean that taxpayers should have to fork out money to cover the expense of a new toilet because the queen feels she is too good for ordinary toilets.

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