Christmas lights face funding crisis

ORGANISERS of Southwold's Christmas lights are launching a desperate appeal for help after revealing the coffers are dangerously low this year.So far there is only £8,500 in the kitty for the lights, which historically cost double that to put up and maintain over the festive period.

ORGANISERS of Southwold's Christmas lights are launching a desperate appeal for help after revealing the coffers are dangerously low this year.

So far there is only £8,500 in the kitty for the lights, which historically cost double that to put up and maintain over the festive period.

Christmas lights committee chairman Sue Allen said at the moment there was not enough money to light up the whole town.

Each year fundraising begins tentatively in January, but gets under way in earnest in February after the annual meeting.


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Mrs Allen said: “The committee voluntarily works its socks off to organise and run fundraising events. However, without the financial backing of the town this will not happen. At the moment it's the Market Place only.”

She said part of the problem was having to ask the same people for help year in and year out.

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She said: “People have to realise that these things don't just happen overnight. They take planning and a great deal of work. I have worked several hours over the last couple of days trying to pull this together. It is not just me, everyone on the committee is trying to make this work.”

She added: “There are health and safety issues as well. They have not made our job any easier. People seem to resent the money we have to pay, but you have one person at the top of a ladder and another at the bottom. That is not excessive amounts of labour - that is health and safety.”

On a positive note she said the committee had hired the services of Halesworth company Pearce and Kemp to put up the lights.

Mrs Allen said: “They are a Halesworth company and do the lights there. We are really pleased to have them on board with us and I am sure they will do a first class job.

“I am sure we will get there in the end, we just need a final push.”

Mrs Allen said a couple of events coming up should help swell funds including an auction of promises on Friday, September 8 at the Swan Hotel at 7.30pm.

This year's theme is Nativity Worldwide and anyone who can help by donating a promise can call 01502 722768.

Next month on Friday October 13 a wine tasting at The Cellar & Kitchen in the town is to be held between 6.30pm and 8.00pm.

Tickets are on sale from there at £7.50 each.

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