Thomas Bridge 12 June 2015

Failed pirate world record attempt cost council £56k, letter reveals

An investigation has been launched after a council spent over £56,000 on a failed pirate fancy dress world record attempt.

It has emerged Penzance Town Council spent almost three times its £20,000 budget on a bid to get its name in the Guinness World Record books for the ‘largest gathering of pirates’.

A letter sent by mayor David Nesbesnuick to all town councillors has revealed the full amount spent on this section of the town’s 400-year charter celebrations reached £56,056.

Despite spending tens of thousands of ‘pieces of eight’, Penzance ultimately fell 77 pirates short of breaking the record. Hastings still clings on the title, having amassed 14,231 buccaneers at a local beach on 22 July.

Nesbesnuick has now vowed ‘transparency’ about the spending, which he branded a ‘sorry business’.

‘This issue has caused us enormous reputational damage,’ he wrote.

‘We only had £20,000 and this was known in mid-February last year. Despite that £60,000 was spent - who authorised it, when and why?’

The issue was bought to the town hall’s attention at a finance committee meeting, with a resolution passed to bring in accountants to review financial processes.

A motion was launched to rescind the decision but this was defeated at a meeting earlier this month. A petition has now been launched calling for the six councillors behind the motion to stand down.

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