Christmas card debate gets the stamp of disapproval

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Councillors on the city’s finance committee have faced criticism for embarking on a lengthy debate about Christmas cards.

Tory group leader Jeremy Balfour had lodged a motion calling for councillors to have the option of having the traditional message “Merry Christmas” on their official council Christmas cards, rather than the “Season’s Greetings” message contained in last year’s cards.

His motion was rejected, and a separate amendment by finance leader Phil Wheeler to take no action was agreed instead – following a debate that lasted nearly half an hour.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, Labour group finance spokesman, criticised the time spent on the issue when a motion by Green councillor Maggie Chapman calling on the council to refuse to renew or sign a contract with any firm that does not pay corporation tax was not even discussed because Councillor Wheeler felt the motion was “not competent”.

Cllr Henderson said: “There are more important things the council can concern itself with and corporation tax may have been a more interesting one. It is no wonder people scratch their heads sometimes because of what the council gets up to.”