Blackpool’s Tories have stepped up their calls for a high level inquiry into losses suffered from this year’s Illuminations Switch-On.
The deficit of £372,109 includes a six figure donation to Children In Need as requested by Gary Barlow in return for stepping in at the last minute in place of Irish band The Script.
Conservative group leader Coun Tony Williams said: “We have called for an inquiry but the council has not responded. We have a strong belief the real cost of the Switch-On will be in excess of £500,000 and the people of Blackpool who have ultimately paid for this, need to know the answers.
“The Conservative group is going to continue asking questions and there needs to be a high level inquiry.”
Council leader Coun Simon Blackburn said talks were already underway with officers, key partners and Marketing Blackpool to establish how the losses would be recovered.
But he said the process would not be rushed and there would be no financial burden placed on tax-payers.
He added: “We are thoroughly, systematically and calmly examining all of the facts, and analysing the key decisions taken which led to the deficit.
“At the same time, we are working on a longer term plan for future Switch-On events, and we will make announcements in due course.
“No announcement should be expected until after this years Illuminations are switched off.
“What we will not do is conduct that debate in public, or through the media, or rush to judgement, however much Coun Williams would like us to do so.
“We will not be drawn into speculation about an exact figure, not least as we have said on countless occasions, whatever the final sum, the deficit will be covered in full by Marketing Blackpool, and will have no effect on the taxpayer whatsoever.”