Christmas is the season of goodwill, except someone forgot to tell Belfast City Council officials.
In one of the most blatant jobsworth decisions in recent memory, the planning service has threatened to fine a hotel facing City Hall £2,500 for putting up banners wishing people a happy Christmas and happy holidays. Technically, it may be a breach of planning conditions since the hotel is a listed building, but it all adds to the gaiety of the city centre at this time of year.
Given the year-round rows over flags and hate symbols in the city, surely a welcome banner should be welcomed, not reduced to a petty officialdom dispute.
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