Plans for a council to fund a town’s Christmas lights have been welcomed by its chamber of trade.
Martin Thomas, chairman of the Biggleswade Chamber of Trade lauded the decision made by Biggleswade Town Council.
At a full council meeting on Tuesday, August 28 councillors approved a recommendation to take formal responsibility for funding the lights.
The Chamber of Trade – which before now has taken care of the funding – will still organise the lights and raise money to help pay for them.
Councillors agreed to approve the recommendation from the off-street car parking committee, which held a meeting in August.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr Thomas said: “It seems like the best way for us to move forward as there are costs to do with insurance and VAT, for example which we have to deal with but the council won’t.
“We will still be actively involved with the organisation though and will be doing as much as we can to help on the fundraising side.”
The council also approved a recommendation to hire the lights out on a contract basis, and three quotes are being sought from companies that could be used.
Mr Thomas added: “Some of the lights are a little elderly now and quite heavy and to be honest you do tend to get quite a lot of wear and tear by putting them up and taking them down again every year.
“We can now look towards hiring out newer, LED lights which we could have on say a three-year contract, and which we could actually leave up during the year if we wanted to.”
A lighting company Mr Thomas has spoken to for a quote suggested that a three-year contract would be advisable.
Biggleswade deputy mayor Councillor Hazel Ramsay agreed that the future for the lights looks bright.
She said: “I think the town could certainly benefit if some of the lights at least could be left up in the town, particularly in the market square trees during the year.
“This would mean that they could be used for other special events and occasions aside from Christmas.”
The council also agreed to plug the funding deficit in the 2011-12 Christmas lights budget.
At the off-street car parking meeting held in August Mr Thomas told councillors about the deficit and also that the Chamber of Trade had previously funded a shortfall in the lights budget for 2010-11.
He told councillors that the current lights were in constant need of repair.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 18 C
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Temperature: 11 C to 17 C
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