‘Don’t charge for Xmas lighting’
Councillors have voiced their opposition to plans which could mean towns and villages have to pay to power their Christmas lights displays.
The Marr area committee discussed the proposals yesterday, which also seek to regulate the hanging of festive lighting and bunting across the region for health and safety reasons.
Aberdeenshire Council is asking all area committees to share their views to help create an authority-wide system.
At the meeting it was revealed that the cost of electricity to power lights across Aberdeenshire is £11,000, with the Marr area costing about £1,200.
Under the new proposals, towns and villages
“Communities rely on their switch on Xmas lights events”
would be permitted to turn lights on between December 1 and January 14.
However, this caused ire among the majority of committee members who said this would have a negative impact on businesses.
Councillor Peter Argyle, deputy leader of the authority, welcomed the consistent approach to health and safety.
However he said he was not in favour of charging communities for their electricity usage.
Councillor Robbie Withey, Huntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford ward, expressed concerns about the time constrictions that were being proposed.
He said: “These communities rely on their switch-on events, if they aren’t able to switch their lights on until December 1 that’s going to push this back until the second week in the month.”
The committee agreed that it would recommend that the window was extended to the middle of November and also that communities were not charged for electricity.”