Celebrities were paid £60,000 over two years to appear at the Christmas lights switch-on in St Helens, new figures reveal.
The Reporter made a request under the Freedom Of Information Act to find out how much money St Helens Council had paid to celebrities.
It revealed that £36,000 was paid in 2014 for stars to appear at the Christmas lights switch-on.
That money was given to the Lightning Seeds, Scouting For Girls, Bars And Melody, X Factor singers Paul Akister and Lola Saunders, Hummingbirds and Hotpots.
The following year, a total of £23,950 was paid to Girls Aloud singer Nadine Coyle, Britain’s Got Talent star Calum Scott, Entity Allstars and Alien Uncovered.
They all performed as part of the town’s Christmas lights switch-on in 2015.
Bringing people together in these hard-pressed times to enjoy some free entertainment is something that we would always advocateSt Helens Council
A St Helens Council spokesman said: “Our programme of activities and events attract thousands of people into the town centre which brings huge economic benefits to our traders who appreciate our efforts in promoting and supporting the town centre.
“Bringing people together in these hard-pressed times to enjoy some free entertainment is something that we would always advocate.
“In light of the ongoing pressures on public sector resources, we are constantly reviewing ways of maximising event activities, while minimising expenditure.”