Taxpayers in Sunderland will be stumping up £50,000 to grease the wheels of the Spice Girls gig ... but is it money well spent?
Lib Dems have gone out on a limb and told us what they want, what they really really want ... and that appears to be a Spice Girls ban in the city!
Those of a particular musical bent may well support the move.
While Sunderland City Council is willing to stump up £50,000 of taxpayers’ money to bring the all-girl supergroup to Wearside, there’s plenty of music lovers who’d gladly sanction a £50k spend to keep them out!
Joking aside, there are legitimate concerns being raised by opposition councillors. Can we really afford £50,000 to bring the band here, and, if so, why do we have to pay when, as a Freedom of Information request has revealed, other councils have not had to stump up any cash?
Certainly, Council Leader Graeme Miller’s logic, on first reading, is difficult to argue against. He says: “Residents love the idea of big concerts coming back to the Stadium of Light. They now expect us to invest in this activity that continues to showcase Sunderland as a great event city.
“A £4million return on a £50,000 investment seems like very good value to me as a return of £80 received for every £1 spent, going directly to our city businesses.”
Good points. Though, a £4million return on no investment is even better!
The Liberal Democrats are quick to point out that this is not an anti-Spice Girl protest and it's clear (though not stated) that from the council's perspective the gig would go ahead even without the £50,000 set aside for the concert.
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Lib Dem deputy leader Stephen O’Brien, however, was pulling no punches. He said: “I’m as big a fan of the Spice Girls as anyone, but this is ridiculous.”
We believe it is the duty of the opposition to question every penny spent by the council, but isn't there a bigger picture with this Spice Girl gig?
Mr O’Brien is confident in his opinion and right to demand answers, but would he be so bold telling Scary Spice exactly what he thinks?
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