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The Christmas Lights Debate Continues

June 25, 2008 2:27 PM

The ruling Residents' Party is determined only to match funds raised by the business community despite RA councillors having agreed in a private meeting early in 2008 that the borough council could spend up to £10,000.

At a meeting of the Strategy & Resources Committee on 24th June, an underspend on the 2007/8 budget was reported alongside higher than forecast interest rates on investments. However, the Residents' Party steadfastly refuses to take a lead on investing in Christmas spirit, town pride and festive lights. A promised contribution from the business community of just under £6,000 was discussed, but this sum did not include provisional pledges from County Councillor Colin Taylor and possibly some of his colleagues on the Local Committee. This could easily take the £6,000 up to £10,000 or above. If the Residents' Party were then to follow their line of a "matched" contribution, the total would amount to £20,000.

Cllr Julie Morris said "The debate has been rumbling on since January this year and the present position is unsatisfactory, to say the least. Matters will be wrapped up in July when the whole council will discuss the issue and make a decision, hopefully with up to date information to hand on how much money is coming from outside sources. If this is £10,000 then we may have a budget of £20,000 for Christmas lights."