Council leader John Alexander has suggested Dundee should be creative with its festive funding and provide more entertainment at Christmas across the city.
At present, the local authority spends around £73,000 on trees and lights outwith the city centre, with £46,000 of that in Broughty Ferry and the West End, according to figures seen by the Tele.
The remaining £27,000 goes to communities in Lochee, Stobswell and Whitfield.
The Strathmartine councillor has argued rather than simply continuing with the status quo, a discussion about how and where the money should be spent needs to be put to the public.
He has suggested that rather than a majority of the funding going towards trees, Dundee could see “interactive activities in the city centre, digital projection onto the street, games and activities, the use of empty shops for fun art trails and more”.
Mr Alexander said: “Change always upsets some but it doesn’t mean it isn’t also the right thing to do.
“Christmas will inevitably have to change this year because of Covid-19 and, while we don’t know what the situation will be in December, the time taken to plan means decisions need to be made now.
“Many people expressed frustration at a lack of Christmas activities last year and they were right. We need to increase the range of events, activities and fun things to do.
“It’s hard when there’s no additional money so we need to spend the existing budget better.”
The Tele understands the debate follows discussions between senior Dundee councillors from different parties regarding the Christmas budget and how it should be spent.
Mr Alexander said he considered the continued use of the money on trees and decorations as short-sighted, and suggested a possible public consultation on the matter in a post on social media.
“We want people to have fun and also increase footfall to help businesses and that’s what I’m suggesting,” he said.
“Personally, I’m not convinced in the slightest that the current way we fund these things is good for the city or that it can be justified to the public purse.
“People will rightly ask what that money actually delivers. ‘Not much more than a tree’ is the answer.
“Let’s be creative. We could use some of that funding to have interactive activities in the city centre, digital projection onto the street, games and activities, utilise empty shops for fun art trails and more. It could involve local cultural organisations and groups too.
“We need fresh thinking, not, ‘Let’s do it this way because we’ve always done it that way’.
“We need to encourage people to have fun, enjoy the Christmas period visit the shops and support local.”