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Last Updated: Monday, 7 November 2005, 19:52 GMT
Threat to non-PC festive lights
A council may stop helping to pay for Christmas lighting displays because they are not politically correct.

Waveney District Council in Suffolk says in a report that the festive illuminations do not fit in with its core values of equality and diversity.

The council is proposing to halve its 10,000 donation to fund lights in market towns and eventually do away with it altogether.

A final decision on the funding is due to be made on Thursday.

'Winter lights'

The report led to claims that the council had gone "PC crazy" and was not prepared to support what was essentially a Christian festival.

The chairman of Southwold's Chamber of Trade, Dudley Clarke, said: "I was amazed that they could come up with this very stupid idea.

"As we all know, over recent months Waveney has been cutting back on so many projects but saving 750 in Southwold - I know it's 10,000 altogether - is not going to make that much difference."

We can accept correctness to a certain degree but that is most unhelpful
Hamil Clarke, Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality

On Monday Waveney District Council leader Mark Bee admitted the report had been badly worded and apologised.

"I am concerned about the wording in the report and I have taken it up with the chief executive this morning and we will be withdrawing that part from the report," he said.

Spokesman for the Ipswich and Suffolk Council for Racial Equality, Hamil Clarke, said the report's "silly" wording was taking things too far.

"It's going over the top. We can accept correctness to a certain degree but that is most unhelpful," he said.

Last week a decision by Lambeth Council in south London to call Christmas lights "Winter Lights" was condemned as showing a "total lack of respect" for Christians.

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