Anger over vote to scrap Horwich Christmas lights to save money
10:07am Thursday 12th September 2013 in News
A COUNCILLOR has come under fire after voting to scrap Horwich’s Christmas lights.
Cllr Christine Flanigan — the only Tory on Horwich Town Council — was shouted down at a council meeting this week after claiming the lights were too expensive.
She said: “In principle it had been agreed that the Christmas lights would not be up this year and that the emphasis would go on the ceremony of the Christmas tree lights, which I was not against, so not all Christmas lights would be eliminated.
“The street lights cost £8,450. I am looking at it as a cost-cutting exercise and trying to save Horwich some money.”
A motion to retain Christmas lights was put forward to the council on September 9 by the Labour leader Cllr Kevan Helsby and all councillors voted in favour — apart from Cllr Flanigan. Leader of Horwich Town Council Cllr Kevan Helsby said: “It’s a complex issue as they are expensive. We would love it if someone could cover the cost of the lights but until then Horwich Town Council has to pay for them.
“Although we do understand that there is always alternatives. We are looking into solar powered lights for next year.
“The majority view was to retain the Christmas lights for this year. It’s too late in the day to change plans but the issue will be discussed again next year.”
Cllr Richard Silvester added: “I voted in favour of keeping Christmas lights which are enjoyed by many residents and children in Horwich and are a part of the festive season.
“We want to promote Horwich town centre especially at Christmas time and the Conservatives’ attitude in Horwich goes completely against everything that we are trying to do.”
A by-election will be held in Horwich to decide the Church Ward seat on Thursday, September 19.
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