Alliance Group Leader Alderman Amanda Grehan has said the suspension of the light shows in Lisburn city centre was inevitable.
Alderman Grehan said: “Everyone loves to see a city centre busy in the run up to Christmas, and having a Christmas light show can cheer everyone up. However, Christmas 2020 is very different and we all have a responsibility to keep ourselves and others safe, which is why restrictions impacting on many areas of our lives are still in place.
“The decision by the DUP and UUP to push forward with extravagant expenditure of ratepayers’ money on Christmas lights during a pandemic is now compounded by the inevitable decision to shut down the light show.
“It was entirely foreseeable that putting on a series of scheduled light shows would draw crowds to Lisburn City Centre. This is at odds with the stay at home message being promoted by the Executive and which has forced other businesses within our Council area to close.
“I raised these concerns at the Development Committee on Wednesday night and received assurances that the Council would continue to liaise with PSNI and others to ensure the public complied with regulations.
“I welcome the decision to shut down the light show. The suspension is regrettable, but public safety is paramount. As a Council, we must urgently consider the viability of these shows over the coming weeks and I am confident that a sensible way forward will be agreed.
“I hope the Councillors who supported this extravagant use of ratepayer’s money will now reflect on their decision.”