Christmas spirit missing over annual parade

EMMA BAILEY
Last updated 05:00 05/08/2014

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The Timaru District Council's economic development agency will be getting a "please explain" from Mayor Damon Odey over its decision not to organise the annual Christmas parade.

In a letter to the council accompanying its three-year statement of intent, Aoraki Development, Business and Tourism (ADBT) chairman Ken McKenzie said it would not be applying for funding for the Timaru Christmas parade. This follows the council deciding against giving ADBT a funding increase at the rate of inflation.

"The Timaru District Council have unfortunately decided not to support the CPI increase requested. This leaves ADBT in its fourth year of static funding while facing a range of increasing costs," McKenzie wrote.

"ADBT is not seeking any specific changes to the statement of intent, however, we are advising that our services will be delivered within a very tight fiscal environment and consequently some services will be reduced.

"In the 2014/2015 year, ADBT will not be applying for funding for the Christmas Parade as this has neither tourism nor economic benefit. The parade has been contracted out for many years to a range of providers. St Joseph's School currently delivers this service and it is recommended that they are provided with the opportunity to retain this."

Odey said he would be meeting with McKenzie and ADBT chief executive Wendy Smith next week to "clarify" its stance.

"Business development and tourism is 12,000 people lining Stafford St, I would have thought," Odey said.

"They subcontract it to St Joseph's so I can't see it is that much of a chore."

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- The Timaru Herald

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