Mexborough councillor personally fronts £2,000 for Christmas light installation

A Mexborough councillor has fronted several thousand pounds to allow next week’s annual Christmas lights switch-on to go ahead after expenses issues.
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This week, Mexborough First councillor Sean Gibbons shared that he has paid £2,069.50 from his personal card to the council’s own highways team for the installation and take-down of Christmas lights.

Issues with the town’s event committee expenses meant that Coun Gibbons was forced to front fees to pay the council.

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Coun Gibbons said: “It is always a challenge organising the Mexborough Christmas event and there has always been some sort of performance or spanner in the works since I was first elected as a councillor in 2015.

Mexborough Christmas lights.Mexborough Christmas lights.
Mexborough Christmas lights.

“Each year, Mexborough First councillors have worked hard behind the scenes with the Mexborough Events Committee inclusive (MECi) to ensure that the town is lit with festive cheers and the children/families enjoy a Christmas event.

“This year has been particular challenging with the significant costs for installing the Christmas lights in Mexborough by City of Doncaster Council last year (which were subsequently written off) and the challenge of paying the circa £2,000 for installation costs this year.”

In 2020, the council stated that £3,000 of annual ward budgets would be allocated for community events and activities.

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As Mexborough does not have a parish or town council with additional budgets, this funding must cover all events across the town.

The council has agreed to provide the main Christmas tree this year, as it does in Doncaster city centre.

Coun Gibbons added: “Due to MECi being left in disarray in the summer with the resignation by Coun Chapman and the lengthy process of removing her from the bank account and adding new signatories, I was more than happy to pay the installation costs to CDC personally and then claim that amount back from MECi afterwards.

“This has ensured that the lights have gone up in the town today (along with the large Christmas tree) in readiness for the Mexborough Christmas lights switch-on event.”

The Mexborough Christmas lights switch-on will take place next Thursday, 30 November, between 4-7pm (lights switched on at 4.45pm).

Doncaster Council was contacted in September for comment.