Cllr Elizabeth Beswick said she thought the hire cost of £2,250 was expensive for a short period of time.

Cllr James Power said: “I don’t have any doubts about the way these reindeer are being looked after, and know our officers were watching very closely and the reindeer did not seem at all distressed. However they may well be a way for us to use that income more effectively and to keep improving our Christmas events. We should look at potentially something else that could build on the success we have had in the past.”

Cllr Peter Coan said: “I have no doubt whatsoever that the reindeer are happy and looked after in accordance with all the current guidelines. However there may be opportunities to spend this money more wisely, to do something just as enjoyable for a fraction of the price [of the reindeer hire]. In addition we would save all the space in Canute Square from not having to have the reindeer petting pen.”