Belfast Telegraph

When councils can be out of tune with their ratepayers

Editor's Viewpoint

It was understandable that Derry and Strabane Council wanted a strong headline act to attract audiences to the City of Derry Jazz Festival last year, but did that really justify spending £50,000 on bringing Jamie Cullen.

That is not to question his standing as a performer, but rather whether that is the best use of hard-earned ratepayers' money, even if the festival proved a success for the local economy.

Sometimes it appears councillors get a little star-struck when the opportunity arises to get involved in festivals or such like events, rather than insisting that commercial enterprises should take, or at least share, the risk. Celebrities nowadays rarely go for a song.

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