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The UK launch of country superstar Dolly Parton's campaign to encourage children to read has ignited a feud within a British town council.
The scheme, which began in the singer's native Tennessee and now runs in 45 US states, aims to send a book to children every month until the age of five.
Parton's first UK-based Imagination Library is set to open in Rotherham, England, tomorrow, but the decision to delay a scheduled council meeting from 2pm to 3pm in order to host a meet-and-greet lunch with the 61-year-old singer has infuriated councillor Tony Mannion.
He says: "I'm boycotting the lunch and I am outraged that democracy is being put on hold because of a celebrity.
"I have nothing against Dolly Parton.
"Not that I know much about her except that she sang 9 To 5. [But] I think that the literacy scheme is a good idea. My objection is over the timing. We have vital business to discuss . and we have few enough council meetings as it is."
However, Roger Stone, the leader of Rotherham council, insists claims he has postponed the meeting because of his love of the country and western genre are inaccurate.
He says: "It's being said I'm this fanatical country and western fan.
"Well, I do like country and western, but I like all sorts of music." - Wenn