The Manchester Evening News has saved Santa.
An 80ft inflatable ‘Santa’ has towered above the city on the rooftop of the town hall for the past 17 years, but council chiefs decided to give him the heave ho after deciding he looked too tired and old.
But following a sustained Save Our Santa campaign by the Manchester Evening News, it is now planned to hoist Santa back onto his perch in time for the big switch-on of the Christmas lights on Sunday.
The re-think was ordered following a unanimous decision by the city council’s scrutiny committee which heard from MEN assistant editor Robert Ridley, who had been invited to speak about the paper’s campaign.
Robert told councillors the Santa had been a traditional part of Manchester’s Christmas for the past 17 years, was hugely popular with children and had been ditched without any attempt to seek public opinion.
He said that the city’s attempts to modernise by introducing a conical Christmas tree in Albert Square and scrapping Santa were not what the public wanted – children liked traditional images.
And he said that the MEN would have been happy to ask readers what they thought – but launched the Save Our Santa campaign after the decision to get rid of the inflatable character was presented as a done deal.
Money earmarked for Santa has already been used to put up additional Christmas lights, but additional funding to save Santa has been provided by the MEN, the city centre management company and the town hall.
e-card, to celebrate his return, by visiting www.manchesteronline.co.uk/cards.
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