This was criticised by some due to the cost when people were losing their jobs. According to the Post's story at the time the tree cost £5k but this was offset by "...just over £1,000" in sponsorship with NCC aiming to cover the whole cost from sponsorship.
Unfortunately it a recent FoI response confirmed, as many suspected, that it didn't quite turn out that way.
Yes the tree cost £5k but the sponsorship raised turned out to be, well, only £550, rather than the above claim of just over £1000. It also turns out -
"...that in all cases, sponsorship/ donations were for the purposes of providing Christmas presents for needy children."
So. In fact NO sponsorship was raised to pay for the tree at all, it all went to the kiddies. Maybe the Post misunderstood?*
Addendum - Oh and look what JoCo said on Twitter when challenged back in July -
like with his portfolio decisions...
(Hat tip - Sam Dixon)