THE mystery of a missing £5,000 ceremonial chain has been solved after it was found in the back of a car.

Basildon ’s deputy mayor Chris Jackman ended up in hot water with council bosses after losing the chain way back in April and was told he may have to pay to replace it.

Mr Jackman, who is also a Tory ward member for Wickford Park, last recalled wearing the gold jewellery at the 100th anniversary celebrations of the of the 1st Ramsden and Downham Scout Group on April 29.

But it appeared to be lost without a trace with Mr Jackman even offering a reward for its return. However, it has finally turned up after a friend discovered it down the back seat of his car.

Mr Jackman said: “I am delighted the chain has been found. I was very upset when I knew it was lost and it has been like living under a cloud since. Apart from its monetary value it is an important civic symbol of our borough and therefore of course, unique.

“I am relieved the chain is safe and I can continue to wear it proudly during my term of office, as will future deputy mayors. I have assured the mayor and leader I will be taking extra care of this important item.”

The £5,000 chain, pictured, dates back to the Sixties and has an enamel council crest in the centre of a silver mount.

Mayor Mo Larkin said: “It is very old and it means a lot as it was given to Basildon Council more than 50 years ago. It’s something we definitely want to keep so it’s great news that it has been found. He looked a bit funny going to all these official events and not wearing his chain! I always make sure that I look after mine and often take it back to the council offices rather than home so I know it’s safe.”