NEW funding was agreed for Christmas Lights - and it will be £10k higher than expected, despite some hefty debate at a South Ayrshire Council meeting.

The original proposed spending of £50k has been increased to £60k with the decision coming off the back of a £10.9 million underspend in the previous financial year.

The revised £60k will be allocated on an ‘as needed’ basis after discussions with communities to see where they require the funding for lights.

The amended budget was questioned by Councillor Hugh Hunter, who asked what the money would be spent on, if communities already have measures in place for Christmas lighting.

The initial budget was to be allocated to Ayrshire Roads alliance for erecting and taking down Christmas lights and as sis ting with road closures for switch-ons.

The revised spending does not outline exactly where the money will now be directed, according to Councillor Hunter.

Councillor Brian McGinley said: “We fully recognise that the needs and wants of our various communities will differ.

“Our new fund will serve as a pre-cursor tothis work by working with communities to ensure that we take account of identified local priorities and any work already underway at a local level to give an important boost to this year’s festive celebrations.

“We obviously have a finite amount of resources, so we know that we won’t be able to do everything that communities want right away, but it’s a terrific starting point.

“It’s certainly going to be a bright Christmas!”