THE Halloween fireworks display in Maghera is to be kept by Magherafelt District Council despite the findings of a survey indicating that a majority of people would like the money spent on promoting the Christmas Lights switch on event.
The fireworks display is a district event and has been taking place near Maghera leisure centre for more than 20 years. The council decided to go ahead with it this year and look at the allocation of funding for the Christmas lights switch on.
Councillors’ heard at their monthly meeting that the survey involved face to face interviews at two Maghera supermarkets, social media and household survey and there were 492 respondents.
Of these 48.98 per cent stated that they would rather the resource for Halloween - budget £6,000 - be used for a Christmas switch on event in Maghera, while 42pc said that they would like to see the Halloween event continue in its present format The remaining respondents stated that they had no opinion either way.
The respondents were also asked if they felt events such as the Christmas and Halloween events contributed to their community. 84.64pc stated they did feel that events made a contribution to their community, whereas 8.96pc felt that they didn’t.
Anne-Marie Campbell, Policy and Development added: “Given the response to the questionaires we would now ask Council to consider reallocating the budget set aside for the Halloween event to a Christmas Light switch on. We would also need to establish how the event will be delivered. This would mean that there is no Halloween fireworks display in the Magherafelt District Council area.”
Supporting the Halloween event, Sinn Fein Councillor Sean Kerr pointed out that it was a district event which was attended by many people from outside Maghera.
DUP Councillor Paul McLean also backed keeping the display, referring to the fact that the survey was only carried out in Maghera.
But SDLP Councillor Kate Lagan said she didn’t think “£6,000 going up in smoke in 15 minutes” was value for money.