Falkirk Council has voted to stump up half the traffic management costs – some £1145 – for the national Orange march coming to town next month.
At a meeting of the executive committee on Tuesday, it was agreed to pay the sum for the event on Saturday, June 25, organised by the Loyal Orange Institution of Scotland Falkirk Branch 36 from the Community Grant fund.
This was despite objections from SNP Group members who believed the money would be better spent on the local groups the fund was meant for.
They also said the financial boost which organisers claimed the event would bring to the town would fail to materialise because many people would stay away from the town centre on that day.
Councillor Tom Coleman said: “It’s an inhibition to trade. We are not in the business of offering outside bodies subsidies – we don’t know who else will be coming to us and asking for money.’’
Members heard the Community Grant fund stood at £94,000 this year, compared to £110,000 last year.
Due to the committee’s decision to suspend fees on all Temporary Traffic Restriction Orders for the next six months, the march organiser will also not have to pay the £725 required to apply for the order.
According to the report before members, organisers said benefits to the town would include a significant uplift in hotel occupancy before and after the march, additional visitors to the area to spectate while the march is ongoing and promotion of the Falkirk Council area as a visitor destination.