Cardiff’s £30,000 Christ­mas tree fi­nally taken down

South Wales Echo - - NEWS - Re­porter heledd.pritchard@waleson­line.co.uk HELEDD PRITCHARD WHAT DO YOU THINK? EMAIL ECLETTERS@ WALESON­LINE.CO.UK

AF­TER more than six weeks of con­tro­versy, Cardiff’s £30,000 Christ­mas tree has been taken down and packed away for an­other year.

The tree be­came the talk of the city af­ter Cardiff coun­cil promised a 40-me­tre tree – taller than Rio’s statue of the Christ the Redeemer and twice the height of the An­gel of the North.

But when the tree fi­nally ar­rived, it turned out to be 40ft and not 40m, mak­ing it less than a third of the height peo­ple had been ex­pect­ing.

The ar­ti­fi­cial tree was also con­tro­ver­sial for hav­ing been sourced from China.

And op­po­nents said the deal to lease it for £10,000 a year for three years through Black­burn-based com­pany MK Il­lu­mi­na­tion was a waste of money.

Many peo­ple ques­tioned why the coun­cil did not put in place a real and lo­cally sourced tree.

But the author­ity said it rep­re­sented a sav­ing com­pared to the cost of real trees used in pre­vi­ous years.

Cov­ered in golden baubles, it was on dis­play in front of Cardiff Cas­tle from the end of Novem­ber.

But it did not ar­rive in time for the cap­i­tal’s Christ­mas lights switch-on, in­stead land­ing a fort­night later.

In 2015 the city’s tree was spon­sored by in­surance firm Ad­mi­ral but the coun­cil says that tree came with a price tag of around £15,000 – con­sist­ing of £10,000 for the tree it­self, £2,000 to dress it up and £3,000 to in­stall and then re­move it.

When the new 40ft ar­ti­fi­cial tree was un­veiled at the end of Novem­ber last year Cardiff coun­cil apol­o­gised for hav­ing said it was go­ing to be 40m tall.

A coun­cil spokes­woman con­firmed the tree was 40ft tall not the 40m that had been ad­ver­tised.

“The per­son who told us the tree was 40m high has since re­vealed he be­lieves he is 18ft tall,” she said.

“We apol­o­gise to ev­ery­one who was ex­pect­ing a big­ger tree and are cut­ting the per­son re­spon­si­ble down to size.”

POLLY THOMAS/WALES NEWS SER­VICE

Cardiff’s Christ­mas tree has fi­nally been taken down, be­low

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