Swaffham Town Council to debate whether to spend £2,500 on dinosaurs for 2023 Christmas event
Councillors have called for an urgent committee meeting as they seek to decide whether to spend more than £2,500 on dinosaurs for a Christmas event.
Swaffham town councillors looked set to approve plans for entertainment at this year’s Christmas lights switch-on, but concerns were raised about a bill for £2,592 which would pay for an “interactive show” involving actors dressed up as the prehistoric creatures.
The idea is the brainchild of town mayor Stewart Bell, who said the creatures are “very fashionable at the moment”.
He argued that they would provide entertainment for children at the event – but Cllr Lindsey Beech said that “Father Christmas does that”.
She added: “I am happy with everything except the dinosaurs. They are very expensive.”
Cllr Beech also voiced her concern that the plans did not come up at a recent meeting of the working group for the event.
Cllr Graham Edwards said it was “a matter of urgency” that the group meets to decide whether the dinosaurs should be booked.
“The trouble is that we are being asked make a decision on something that we haven’t got any facts on,” he said.
Cllr Bell said he could see the councillors’ points – but pointed out that last year, they voted for him and his wife to run the event in conjunction with the council.
Towards the end of Wednesday’s meeting, he then asked if he could book the dinosaurs in advance before claiming the money back on expenses if councillors opt to approve them.
“Of course it is wrong for me to do, but I want to see an event that is successful,” he said.
However, the town council will discuss the matter further before any decision is made.