Leaders in Christmas lights vow
COMMUNITY leaders have promised to have their Suffolk town twinkling next festive season.
There have been no Christmas lights in Leiston this year because they had fallen into a severe state of disrepair.
They were too costly to mend and if put up as they were it was also feared they could pose a health and safety risk.
Instead the recently re-formed Leiston Business Association (LBA) asked store owners to decorate their own shop fronts in a bid to bring a festive flavour to the town.
The group has been fundraising in a bid to get enough money to buy new lights for 2011.
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Some residents have asked why there are no lights in the town this year – especially when other neighbouring communities have displays.
The issue was discussed at length by members of Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council at a number of meetings.
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Chairman Tony Cooper said: “Unfortunately this year its just not been possible to put the lights up. They were in a real state and too costly to repair.
“It was a real shame and something I felt strongly about. I was very upset that they weren’t going to be happening and we discussed it for a very long time at the town council meetings.
“Leiston should have Christmas lights, there is no doubt about that. It will be one of the first things I look at in the New Year.”
Jonny Newton, chairman of the LBA, said new Christmas lights were a priority for 2011.
“We have only recently re-established ourselves and one of the first things we did was talk to the town council about the Christmas lights. However, unfortunately the funds just were not there, we couldn’t do it privately. They would cost more than �3,000 – it was a lot of money that the business association just did not have. There was also a real health and safety risk.
“However, next year we are hoping to put on a fantastic show.”