Christmas trees facing the axe
Christmas festivities in Clifton ward in Blackpool could be facing the axe.
Clifton councillors Luke Taylor and Adrian Hutton have warned that the growing cost of Christmas trees along with local government cuts mean the festive trees that traditionally decorate the ward each December may not be making an appearance this year.
Coun Taylor said: “The council provides the Christmas trees for £1,500 each, so the usual two trees would cost us £3,000 - that’s 20 per cent of our ward budget. We’ve tried looking elsewhere but unfortunately we keep getting priced out.
“We have to consider whether people will see this as value for money.
“Do we spend £3,000 on Christmas trees, or do we spend it on community work and support?
“It would be a real shame. People do like seeing them on the green and probably don’t realise the amount of funding they need.
“We may have to make a difficult decision.”
The trees are traditionally displayed on the green off Langdale Road and near Barnardo’s Donation Centre on Cherry Tree Road, and are given an official grand opening event each year, with performers from Blackpool Tower circus turning on last year’s lights.
Coun Hutton said: “With the way money is, we are now looking at getting sponsorship from local businesses.
“We are investigating whether there is anyone out there willing to help fund it.
“If we are unable to get that, then we will have to discuss the possibility of not having them.
“With the cuts put in place, do we really have the money to be spending £3,000 on Christmas trees? It’s not something that we want to cut out, but we need to be mindful of the financial situation.”