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Laser show query on cash spent

By Jo Deeks on Thursday, 13th January 2000.

A FORMER councillor has suggested the 27,000 spent on Haverhill's Millennium laser show could have been better spent giving people a holiday from the town's car parking charges.
Colin Jones questioned the priorities of the town council in deciding how the money should be spent and whether the public was consulted on whether they wanted it spent on a laser show.
He said: "Car parking charges have been a cause of complaint for many years and their effect on Haverhill's development as a retail centre.
"Politics is all about choices and I think people should have been asked how they wanted the money spent.
"If people think it was money well spent, fine, but there were alternatives and people may think the money could have been better spent."
But Coun Gerry Kiernan, deputy town council leader, said he believed there would have been outrage if there were fireworks and celebrations in Bury St Edmunds and all Haverhill had was a few weeks free parking.
He said a committee of local people had decided on millennium celebrations, consulting many local groups and residents' associations. There had been an overwhelming majority in favour of the laser show.
"In the past, people have always felt better things went on in Bury St Edmunds, but this time the best thing was in Haverhill.
"We always have fireworks a few weeks beforehand in December anyway so we wanted something different and spectacular.
"If we could have permanent free parking it would have been an option, but a few weeks free would just be a gimmick and not solve any problems.
"I am sure there would have been complaints, and quite rightly so if we had not done something to mark the millennium.
"There were a lot of people there who really enjoyed it," he said.

Haverhill Weekly News

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