Clacton: Councillors search for a replacement Christmas tree to erect in their town square after the one that was donated is deemed too small for the job.

The Clacton Christmas tree, which has now been removed, captured on camera by twitter user Sammy Jo

The Clacton Christmas tree, which has now been removed, captured on camera by twitter user Sammy Jo Machin - Credit: Archant

Councillors in Clacton are desperately searching for a suitable Christmas tree to erect in their town square after the one that was gifted to the coastal community was deemed too small for the job.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) donated the early present to help decorate the town for the festive season but the tree was taken down on Friday after only a day because of concerns it wouldn’t live up to people’s expectations. There were also fears that the 12ft tall pine would not survive the blustery coastal weather.

Tendring District Council leader Peter Halliday said it was a shame following the generous gesture by the federation but the tree supplied was not man enough for the job.

“It is very disappointing after we were donated a tree but there was no other decision that could be made but to take the tree down,” he said.

“It is just too prominent a site for a tree of that size and on a site that is exposed to some pretty strong winds.

“We will ensure that we will find another good home for the donated tree and replace it as soon as possible with the 30ft tree we normally have in the town square.”

Mr Halliday added that he hoped the FSB would understand – but the square is a focal point for Clacton’s Christmas celebrations.

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“We would be letting our residents and traders down if we did not come up with something more substantial,” he said.

“We have a number of events, including the Christmas lights switch-on, late-night shopping and a traditional Continental market coming up in the next few weeks.

“It is important that we have a tree which is in keeping with the setting and the standard of events and activities which will be taking place.”

Mr Halliday said that every effort will be made to replace the tree as quickly as possible and in time for the festivities.

He added that he would like to see the FSB team up with the council’s town centre co-ordinator and talk to all town centre traders about the importance of creating the best possible environment for Tendring’s town centres at Christmas.

“There is a huge value to traders in the Christmas economy and if every shop contributed £25 to the cost of a tree the additional footfall created by the festive atmosphere would pay them back tenfold,” he added.

“The expertise of the FSB would be better used to explain this to the traders.”

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