‘Don’t charge for Xmas light­ing’

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL NEWS -

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.”

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