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  • "Why don't you speak to the businesses and ask them rather than assuming I have all the answers? Seems the company the council asked to count up the benefits did and it was a resounding success.

    Not everything the council does is to improve its own services; it's rather nice that they put money into things that simply benefit the area and broadly boost the economy.

    I can't speak for your "profession", you could be a "professional" thicko I don't know. Professions are many.

    And so 90% and 95% of 714 people isn't indicative at all is it. You can scale up from that figure; what figure would you be happy with? Go on, give me a clue ... 5,000? Should we hold an election on the matter? Get a grip. A sample of 50 I'd agree with you. But even that would give a rough feel for popularity of the event, or not.

    County Durham News ... ahhhh, again, how little you "get" local government. So you'd rather the council published all its statutory stuff in the Echo et al, market its events and services in the Echo et al, and tell you about changes to service in the Echo et al, at greater cost? So whilst they charge thousands and thousands to facilitate this information sharing, clearly the taxpayer can save a few quid. Not. Gee you're bright. Do people really think the council is stupid enough not to use the most cost effective way to get information out? Clearly you do. But during unprecedented local government cuts of circa 40% off the main budget, do you not think they might have removed the residents magazine if it would save money? Take away the local council rag as it were, as Pickles would prefer, and continue to use taxpayers money to prop up local newspapers. That's all that will happen.

    I come back to my point that for £400k investment, £5m was reaped by the area. So how is that a bad thing?

    Using your logic, the council can never again spend anything on anything unless it's keeping care homes open. I jest on the investments but "New £1m road". HOW DARE THEY!! KEEP CARE HOMES OPEN!! "£500k investment on a new gritter fleet". WHERE ARE THEY GETTING THE MONEY!!! "Lumiere" THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE SKINT!!

    So again I come back to my point that ultimately, what you are happy for the council to spend money on is different to what I'm happy for them to spend the money on. But don't presume you speak for the populous of County Durham. You don't.

    In an ideal world I'm sure the council would have loved to have kept care homes open. But without using the "thicko" standard schoolboy playground response of "Sack the chief executive", "Cut out some managers", or the really thicko comment "Cut councillors allowances", all of which would not equal 40% of the councils required savings, how would you propose that the council kept them open? Go on, enlighten me. It's too easy to heckle from the sidelines."
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Council urged to pledge £500k for Lumiere return

First published in News

COUNCILLORS are being asked to pledge more than £500,000 of taxpayers’ money to ensure a spectacular light festival returns to the North-East next year.

Last week, the Arts Council announced £1.245m to help stage Lumiere in Durham City in 2015 and 2017.

Now Durham County Council chiefs want to offer a further £500,000 towards the November 2015 event, plus £100,000 of in-kind assistance.

A report due to go before the authority’s cabinet next week (Wednesday, July 16) says Lumiere is of ‘considerable’ importance to the economy, there is ‘clear public demand’ for its return and an estimated £1.7m budget, up from £1.4m for 2013, is ‘achievable’.

An independent evaluation of last year’s event, which attracted 175,000 visitors over four nights, found it: boosted the economy by £5.8m (up from £4.3m for 2011’s event); resulted in more than 20,000 overnight stays; generated publicity worth £3.16m (up from £2.25m in 2011); and the council got a 1,358 per cent return on its £400,000 investment (up from 983 per cent for 2011).

Of the 714 people who took part in a visitor survey, four in five said their experience was good or very good and the art was good; 88 per cent said the atmosphere was good or very good; 90 per cent wanted Lumiere to return; and 95 per cent said they would attend again.

Of the predicted budget of £1.7m, the council and the Arts Council would each give £500,000, and the remaining £700,000 would have to come from other organisations and sponsors.

Council leader Simon Henig said: “Lumiere has put us firmly on the world map and has become our signature event.

“By continuing to work very closely with (Lumiere producers) Artichoke I have every confidence a 2015 event would deliver the sort of benefits we have seen grow so dramatically since the first festival in 2009.

“I would like to encourage organisations throughout our area to help us deliver this fantastic event.”

Cabinet will be asked to approve re-commissioning Artichoke to stage Lumiere in 2015 and pledge £500,000 plus £100,000 of in-kind assistance when it meets at County Hall on Wednesday, July 16.

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