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Matthew Hancock
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Children's Christmas lights competition continues on casting vote

Wednesday, 26th March 2014.

Haverhill's town mayor used his casting vote last night to continue the competition for town schoolchildren to design Christmas lights.

The competition run last year was very successful and resulted in new designs which were used in the market square lights, but town council members heard it would cost another 3,000 to run it again this year.

The council has already agreed to cut back spending on Christmas lights from the 30,000 in its budget to 15,000 as part of its cost-saving measures.

Members were also asked whether the competition should continue and the leader of the Conservative group Cllr Betty McLatchey said as they now had 'lovely' lights designed last year, why run it again?

When a vote was taken, the numbers were level, with two Labour councillors voting against continuing the competition.

Conservative Cllr Clive Turner had left the meeting immediately before the vote, in order to collect his son from scouts, which left an even number of members.

The mayor, who chaitrs the council, has a casting vote in these circumstances and Cllr Roger Andre used it to continue the competition.

Earlier, members of the public had asked some detailed questions about council finances and about grants in particular.

One of them asked permission to ask a further question at the end of the meeting, which the mayor allowed, and inquired why he had not required Cllr Turner to vote before he left the meeting.

Cllr Andre said he had had no idea the vote would be so close.

Haverhill Online News

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