Christmas is saved, says Long

Alliance Belfast City Councillor Michael Long has said Christmas is saved for the city, after the Council agreed to U-turn on a proposed cutting of its festive lights.

Belfast City Council Michael Long


It follows the Council telling elected representatives the Christmas lighting scheme in the city would need to be scaled back due to budgetary concerns. However, Councillor Long proposed a review of the decision and a special meeting to discuss it.
Belfast City Council has now confirmed the cost will be managed through Departmental underspends or its financial reserves, allowing the lighting scheme to go ahead as initially intended.
“It is understandable finances need to be looked at in the current climate,” said Councillor Long.
“However, Christmas is a special time of year and Christmas is particularly outstanding in Belfast, with people coming from miles around to see the lights and experience the atmosphere, spending money and boosting the economy in the process. If the lighting scheme had taken a hit, it would have undoubtedly impacted that and traders would have taken a cut.
“My thanks go to the Council officers, who looked at this situation and were able to adapt by using cash reserves to make up the relatively small shortfall. There is certainly a feeling from many that Christmas is now saved for the city, particularly traders, who faced with rate increases, will need the economic boost Christmas footfall provides.”