'Christmas' to be back in festive programme
A COUNCIL has pledged to reinstate the word Christmas in its festive lights programme – after complaints that leaving it out was "political correctness gone mad".
Publicity material for Broxtowe Borough Council's celebrations on November 28 simply referred to a "Beeston Lights Switch On Event".
However, after the council was made aware of the "strength of feeling" over the issue, it has promised to use the word again next year.
It follows three years where Christmas was not used because of the "diverse" nature of events.
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Sam Blacklock, chairman of Beeston and Chilwell Business and Residents' Association, had said: "I think it is political correctness gone mad. It is absolutely absurd. People accept we live in a multicultural society."
Beeston father-of-two Ron Glen, 67, said: "It is plain daft. We have had Christian tradition in this country for thousands of years."
The pamphlets sent out by Broxtowe Borough Council only make reference inside to Christmas. There is mention of "Christmas Elves", "Christmas pop tunes", and a special dance "to link the Diwali and Christmas celebrations".
A spokeswoman for the council said: "Broxtowe Borough Council has always supported and celebrated the season of Christmas, and has not 'diluted' the occasion as suggested.
"On the contrary, over the last 15 years it has held successful and extremely popular Christmas events across the borough.
"The programme of activities prior to, during and after these events is varied and diverse, so three years ago the title only on the publicity material changed to read 'Lights Switch-On'.
"However, leaflets, the website and press releases all detail the relevant activities, including all the Christmas titled activities.
"The council is concerned to hear of the public's strength of feeling about this issue and because of that, it is intending to include Christmas in the title of next years publicity material."
Council leader Councillor Michael Rich said he was making sure Christmas was reinstated.
He said: "It is petty to me that we took it off the front.
"There were excuses that there was no room for it but I am not accepting that.
"Appropriate words have been said to appropriate staff."
Councillor Richard Jackson, leader of the Conservative group on the authority, said: "We have various things all year round for various cultures like a Chinese New Year.
"We have a Christmas tree and Christmas lights. It does not offend people."