A ROW has been go­ing on in New­ton Ay­cliffe in County Durham about whether a woman could play Santa Claus in this year’s Christ­mas pa­rade.

First News - - FRONT PAGE - by Ben Puls­ford

It’s that time of year again when lots of peo­ple are dress­ing up as Fa­ther Christ­mas for char­ity events, plays and pa­rades all over the world – but should Santa Claus al­ways be a male role? Great Ay­cliffe Town Coun­cil says yes, after putting the is­sue to a vote.

The ar­gu­ment be­gan after a woman from New­ton Ay­cliffe of­fered to take on the role of Fa­ther Christ­mas in the town’s Santa Claus char­ity pa­rade.

But, one of the town’s coun­cil­lors ar­gued against women per­form­ing as Fa­ther Christ­mas in the pa­rade. The coun­cil­lor told The Times news­pa­per: “I have no is­sue with a Mrs Claus. But Santa Claus be­ing a man is a longheld tra­di­tion ac­cepted by the vast ma­jor­ity of so­ci­ety.”

Great Ay­cliffe Town Coun­cil’s Recre­ation Com­mit­tee de­cided to vote on whether or not the tra­di­tion­ally male role should be made avail­able to women.

Coun­cil­lors voted against the idea last Wed­nes­day and re­leased this state­ment: “The Recre­ation Com­mit­tee con­firmed by res­o­lu­tion that the role of Santa Claus should con­tinue to be a male role.”

News of the vote has since hit news­pa­pers and so­cial me­dia and be­came a na­tion­wide gen­der de­bate, with some peo­ple ar­gu­ing that men or women should be able to act as Santa Claus at of­fi­cial events.

What do you think?

Ho ho ho!

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