Cost of Pontypool Christmas lights doubles
7:01pm Monday 7th October 2013 in News
PONTYPOOL Community Council just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, but didn’t realise that it would cost it twice as much as it had planned to wish a Nadolig Llawen too.
As the Free Press previously reported, the community council had picked out designs for this year’s Christmas lights display in the town centre.
The display will cost around £32,000 from the community council funds, after it chose a new blue and white display which includes strands of lights holding large electronic snowflakes alternating between a snow drop affect.
The community council had been planning to add a personalised message of lights too, wishing people in the town a Merry Christmas.
They wanted that to hang on the walls of the council building on Commercial Street in the town to make people aware that the community council, and not Torfaen council, had paid for the display. The clerk of the council, Ruth Tucker had expressed concerns that community council would have to seek permission from Torfaen to do that as it owns the building.
But she also informed members at a meeting of full council last Wednesday that if they wanted to go ahead with the message then they would have to pay for another sign repeating it in Welsh to fit in with bi-lingual guidelines.
This means the council would end up spending £2,600 on festive messages in both languages, instead of just £1,300 for the English language sign.
This will take the grand total for the display to close to £35,000.
A decision on whether to press ahead with the idea has now been deferred to a meeting of the community council’s policy and finance committee in October, with the council leader, Barry Taylor, keen to ascertain whether they could afford to do it.
“I would still like to have the message, but we would need to know whether we can afford it,” he told the meeting.
Mrs Tucker said they could afford it but said it would be up to members whether that is what they wanted to spend the money on.
Shaun Moore from the Somerset-based Festive Lighting Company previouslyhad told Pontypool Community Council that this year’s display would come in cheaper than previous years in response to a question from Cllr Graham Smith.
Mr Moore also said the lights will be 90 per cent more energy efficient than last year.
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