Plans to light up historic building split councillors

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A ROW has erupted at a council over plans to spend £35,000 to illuminate its offices at night.

The Council House, in North Street, Chichester, has been the home of Chichester City Council for 250 years.

But a plan to light up the building has caused divisions.

Conservative party members on the council opposed the idea, but were outvoted 11 to seven by Liberal Democrat councillors, who felt it would encourage more people into the city centre in the evenings.

Tory councillor Tony Dignum said the decision sent out the wrong message at a time of financial hardship.

Instead he wanted the money to be spent building a community hall for the Whyke estate in Chichester.

He said: ‘We are not saying never, but this is not the right time.

‘It sends the wrong message to the community.

‘Is lighting the council chamber really a high priority?’

But chairman of the finance committee Richard Plowman said steps needed to be taken to support the city’s tourism offer.

‘It would help encourage more people into the city, particularly in the evening,’ he said.