Lisburn council criticised for £500k Christmas spending


Lisburn and Castlereagh is “wrong-headed” to splash greater than half one million kilos on Christmas cheer as different councils give their festive money to serving to these affected by the pandemic, a councillor has stated.

he winter gentle pageant spend will clock in at £535,000 this 12 months, and consists of an animated Christmas tree, a 100m-long gentle tunnel and a six metre reindeer on Comber Road.

The funds has been agreed by the Development Committee, and can go earlier than the complete council at present.

About half the cash – £240,000 – is a part of a three-year contract related to the annual working of the pageant.

It is a choice that has been branded as “wrong-headed” by one councillor, who is worried with spending such a sum within the midst of the monetary issues attributable to Covid-19.

The Green Party’s Simon Lee defined that while he appreciated the necessity for cash to be spent on the annual pageant, he was “concerned” and thought among the cash could possibly be used elsewhere.

“In the current context of a very strained budget, it seems to me wrong headed to push ahead with such a large spend,” he stated.

“I’ve been listening to from very upset enterprise house owners who’re being pressured to stop buying and selling with little or no monetary help, and it’s laborious to defend this spend in that context.

“I’m not saying no money should be spent, I just think this is excessive. While it would be depressing and unhelpful to the businesses operating in Lisburn and Dundonald to have no Christmas lights, some of this money could be diverted to our Covid support work.”

Other councils have already made the choice to reallocate their Christmas occasions funds to Covid help, equivalent to Ards and North Down, who will give over their £23,000 funds to help neighborhood restoration.

The Lisburn Christmas show shall be on the identical scale as 2019 – with the addition of Covid security measures.

Installations embrace a lightweight cover on Bow Street, prisms at Market Square and “angel photo stations”.

The pageant will lengthen to Dundonald for the primary time.

A meals market is flagged as a risk, relying on public well being recommendation.

The council has bid for £100,000 for festivities from the Department for Communities.

Councillors dominated out Halloween fireworks after a report dubbed them a pricey “15-minute display in a time of austerity”.

A socially-distanced drive-in pyrotechnics occasion – floated for Balmoral Park – would have value as much as £50,000.

Belfast Telegraph



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