Council row puts Catholic school Xmas parade in doubt

St Joseph’s School in Timaru North might be able to keep running the district’s Christmas parade, even though a city council agency withdrew support.

The Timaru District Council’s economic development agency will be getting a “please explain” letter from Mayor Damon Odey.

Aoraki Development, Business and Tourism’s chairman Ken McKenzie said there would be no funding application for a parade, after the council did not give the agency an inflation-adjusted funding boost.

The agency said it was facing rising costs, but its income is static, so it has to reduce services.

“St Joseph’s School currently delivers this service and it is recommended that they are provided with the opportunity to retain this,” Mr McKenzie wrote.

Mr Odey said he would be meeting with McKenzie and ADBT chief executive Wendy Smith next week to “clarify” its stance.

“Business development and tourism is 12,000 people lining Stafford St, I would have thought,” Mr Odey said.

“They subcontract it to St Joseph’s so I can’t see it is that much of a chore.”

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