Honiton could get ‘reduced’ Christmas lights display if £5,000 target is not met by November
PUBLISHED: 15:09 05 September 2018 | UPDATED: 12:26 11 September 2018
Honiton could have a ‘reduced’ Christmas lights display this year if £1,000 more isn’t raised by the start of November.
That’s the warning from the town’s deputy mayor, who is now encouraging shops to set up their own Christmas window displays ahead of this year’s festive period.
A new sub-committee was set up in April this year to ensure Honiton is appropriately decked out in festive lights this year.
The move came after Honiton and District Chamber of Commerce gifted a proportion of the festive lights it owns to residents as a permanent resource.
So far, the committee has raised just shy of £4,000 – and members have only eight weeks to secure the remaining £1,000 to meet their target.
Councillor Duncan Sheridan-Shaw, deputy mayor of Honiton, said: “We are appealing to people to come forward and volunteer to help raise money.
“The money will go towards putting the Christmas lights up, keeping them sustained and keeping them running.
“It costs around £5,000 a year to put them up, and then we have other additional costs to factor in, such as PAT testing.
“It is certainly not a free enterprise – the council does not take any profit.”
As part of ensuring Honiton is lit up this Christmas, the committee is looking for shopkeepers to put on ‘really good displays’ by kitting out their windows with lights and Christmas decorations.
He added that cost-price Christmas trees, courtesy of Hill View Nurseries, will be offered to shops, to be fitted in the brackets which currently hold the flags running down High Street.
Cllr Sheridan-Shaw said a cash prize will be offered to the business which puts on the best window display and is encouraging shoppers to ‘go big’ this year.
Regardless if the committee does or doesn’t raise the full £5,000 – a Christmas lights display of some kind will be put up in the week commencing November 12.
Cllr Sheridan-Shaw added: “We are hoping we will have all of the money raised. We have to get it really, otherwise we will have to reduce the display.”
Anyone who wants to get involved with volunteering, or requires more information from Cllr Sheridan-Shaw, can contact him via Honiton Town Council or his Twitter profile.