Aberdeenshire councillors have agreed to continue paying for Christmas lights electricity to avoid being branded ‘Scrooges’.
The infrastructure services committee yesterday ignored recommendations to charge community groups for the electricity these decorations require.
Most members had organised meetings to discuss the proposed billing scheme and encountered a hostile reaction.
The plan was put forward on the basis that the authority always endeavours to try to recover costs.
But all councillors were in agreement the annual £11,000 cost was manageable.
Councillor David Aitchinson said: “Not charging community groups for Christmas lights – I think it’s good for the council to make a contribution which is a relatively small sum.
“We could all write the headlines about Scrooge councillors if we decided to charge for this.”
Councillor Glen Reid agreed and said: “I think as far as electricity charging is concerned, Blackburn residents say if we charge then it would then be a non-viable option for them.
“Kintore residents agreed, so I’m glad all of us here are in agreement.”