Wingecarribee Shire Council will continue to fund Christmas celebrations as part of the 2022/23 budget following endorsement by Council.
Council’s Interim Administrator Mr Viv May PSM adopted the resolution following a report to Council detailing the 2021 trial festivities during this month’s Extraordinary Meeting.
“Feedback from the community and businesses was overwhelming supportive of the initiatives that Council introduced last year,” he said.
A survey undertaken in February 2022 found that 91 per cent of respondents were supportive of continued Council funding of Christmas events and festivities.
A total of 269 community members responded to the survey which sought feedback on a range of Christmas events staged in 2021 including the Festival of Lights, Community Carols, village Christmas trees and extended twilight trading hours.
As per the resolution adopted by Council, $103,500 will be allocated towards this year’s Christmas celebrations including $15,000 towards the December Festival of Lights celebrations in Bowral’s Corbett Gardens.
Other monies will be spread across smaller villages including the Medway Village Association.
As part of the resolution Council’s General Manager will also have discussions with Business Southern Highlands and the Moss Vale Rural Chamber of Commerce followed by the community as to the preferred allocation of $42,000 in Christmas funding.
“This is another example of Council’s new executive team listening to the wishes of our community,” Mr May said.
As per the Council resolution additional funding will be included in the upcoming 2022/23 budget.
Other recommendations include the exclusive use of Corbett Gardens for a continuation of the December Festival of Lights event and provision of community groups to use Council-managed halls and grounds to host village Christmas celebrations.
“While the rain may have dampened some of last year’s celebrations it didn’t hamper the Shire’s yuletide spirit,” Mr May added.
“It’s clear the Highlands community wants Council to continue to support community-led Christmas celebrations.”