Belinda Bennett, Editor
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
No money in the pot for expensive feature.
While there is “no money in the pot” for a Christmas tree outside St Paul’s Church this year, business leaders say they are under pressure to provide something as a focal point.
The cost of lighting and insuring the spectacle last year topped £1,000 - a third of Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s annual income.
Colin Wright, the chamber’s chairman, told a breakfast meeting last week: “Unfortunately, there is no money in the pot to spend on a Christmas tree and lights, but we are under pressure from the town council to do something outside St Paul’s.”
It was suggested that businesses be approached for donations towards an alternative display, but Mr Wright was concerned that traders have already been asked to support a number of other initiatives recently - including the cost of watering floral displays for the Queen’s jubilee.
“The tree cost £1,000, a third of the chamber’s income, and it is not fair on members to spend the money that way,” Mr Wright said.
The tree is usually donated but the chamber has had to pay for it to be put up and taken down, along with thousands of lights, insurance and a donation to the church towards electricity.
A display of around 100 individual Christmas trees above shop premises will go ahead as planned.