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Councillor questions whether Council is acting the Scrooge

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

A NEWRY, Mourne and Down (NMDC) Councillor has sought advice from the Equality Commission over his claims that the council refuses to use the word Christmas.

Independent Downpatrick councillor Cadogan Enright, brought forward a Notice of Motion at last night's (Monday) monthly council meeting stating that councillors have never voted for "the unofficial policy currently holding sway" on not using the word Christmas.

According to Councillor Enright, the Equality Commission informed him that there is no reason to avoid the word Christmas or Christmas related words, including Santa Claus.

“It just looks like political correctness ran amuck so I want to knock it on the head and bring Christmas back," said Councillor Enright.

“From what I can gather so far in my investigations, is that it is not an actual policy and it has been adopted unofficially, without there ever being a discussion about it.

“I've taken advice from the Equality Commissioner and I've sent that on to our Equality Officer [at NMDC]. It's quite clear that there are no equality reasons for avoiding the use of Christmas, Santa Claus or anything else."

In Councillor Enright's Notice of Motion it also states that Down councillors had received complaints that council staff were using Kris Kringle rather than Santa Claus and that this has spread into the new NMDC.

A spokesperson for NMDC simply stated that they had received the Notice of Motion and forwarded it into the monthly meeting's agenda.

“Newry, Mourne and Down District Council has received a notice of motion submitted by Councillor Enright on the matter of the council using alternative wording in council business and events for Christmas, or involving Santa Claus," said the spokesperson.

“The motion has, in line with the council's Standing Orders, been forwarded for inclusion on the agenda of the council's meeting scheduled for Monday, January 9, 2017."

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