Red tape turns off a second UK town’s Christmas lighting

ANOTHER North Wales town will be stripped of traditional street lights this year because of new health and safety red tape.

Disappointed Pwllheli town councillors said they will only be able to cover the Maes area with festive decorations because of rising costs.

They blamed tight new health and safety regulations for depriving the town of its usual Christmas street colour lights display.

Councillors said they could not afford new lights to go across streets to meet new red tape standards.

Last month Criccieth town councillors had to abandon their street lights for the same reason, meaning only a Maes area will be illuminated there over Christmas.

Expressing bitter disappointment Pwllheli deputy mayor, Coun Evan John Hughes, said: “Over the past 220 years the council has taken pride in the colourful displays to celebrate the festive season.

“But not any more, because we just cannot afford to comply with the new regulations that would mean spending several thousands of pounds.

“During those years we have worked closely with local voluntary organisations, the result being that our lights attracted praise from a wide area,” he added.

“But in recent years the condition of the lights deteriorated to such an extent that we have been spending heavily to try and keep up with the regulations.

“We have now reached a situation that we cannot afford to invest in new lights because the cost of meeting new regulations is prohibitive.

“It is most important that we convey to local people that it is no fault of ours that the usual streets will not be lit up this Christmas.

“Regrettably the lights will be confined to the Maes, supported by a lit up Christmas tree.

“We find ourselves in a very sad situation indeed, but every effort will be made to light up the Maes, and particularly the tree.

“Tradition is now behind us as far as our street decorations are concerned, as we find ourselves in the same situation as many other towns, including nearby Criccieth, across the country, who have been forced to abandon their Christmas lights.

“As far as I can see there is no way out on this one, bearing in mind the extra fees imposed upon us, coupled with the fact that the cost of insurance is becoming prohibitive.”

Members agreed that a sum of £4,000 would be allocated to cover the cost of lighting up the Maes.

This would include the cost of buying the Christmas tree.

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