COUNCIL chiefs have reassured residents they will not be ‘cancelling Christmas’ despite budget cuts facing the authority.

The 2019-20 draft revenue budget was approved by the executive board on Monday, which paves the way for it to go before full council for a vote on February 25.

The cost-cutting measures identified in the proposals include a £24,000 saving by scrapping money used to fund Christmas lights in the borough.

Town Hall chiefs say they will aim to obtain the cash alternatively, possibly through a sponsor.

Cllr Hans Mundry, executive board member for highways, transportation and public realm, raised the issue during Monday’s meeting.

Warrington Guardian:

Picture taken by Sean Nolan

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He said: “It (the saving identified) refers to stopping providing for Christmas lights.

“The council has got no intention of actually cancelling Christmas – it is looking for alternative funding and sponsorships.

“It is unfortunate wording when it says stopping.

“We are not going to cancel Christmas, we are going to look for another way of funding the lights.”

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Council leader Cllr Russ Bowden echoed Cllr Mundry’s views and confirmed he does not want to be ‘cancelling Christmas’.

He added: “Although sometimes when you look at things, you do wonder how bad it can get.”

Town Hall chiefs say £45 million of savings will need to be made over the next four years to balance the budget – with £22.2 million of savings identified over 2019-20.

Warrington Guardian: