Wait goes on for Xmas lights repairs

A TOWN'S wait to find out whether it will have its festive lights back up in time for Christmas looks set to continue.Disaster struck Colchester's Christmas decorations earlier this month when two sets of lights came crashing down on to the High Street.

A TOWN'S wait to find out whether it will have its festive lights back up in time for Christmas looks set to continue.

Disaster struck Colchester's Christmas decorations earlier this month when two sets of lights came crashing down on to the High Street.

Amazingly no-one was injured, but North Hill and High Street were closed to traffic for several hours as investigations were launched.

It has now emerged that faulty clips on the lights, rented by Colchester Town Partnership, caused the problem.


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Now the partnership is working with its contractors to try to get the go-ahead from Essex County Council to put them back up.

However, there are no guarantees at this stage whether Colchester will be illuminated in time for Christmas.

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Chris Rawlinson, executive director of the partnership, said more information was needed before Essex County Council gave the go-ahead.

And even with permission, it is proving tricky finding an available opportunity for the lights to go back up.

She said: “The contractor will have to put them back up, but it is the busiest time of year as every town and city is putting up Christmas lights - all the equipment needed and all the crews needed are already committed.

“Hopefully they will be up, but how long is a piece of string? We are doing everything we can to try and get them back.”

She would not be drawn upon whether the partnership would be making a compensation claim for the fiasco.

Don Henshall, Colchester borough councillor responsible for business, said everyone was working together on the issue, and he said he believed the lights would be up before Christmas.

The council put £10,000 towards the £35,000 cost of the lights and, at a meeting this week, its finance and audit scrutiny panel asked questions about what went wrong.

james.hore@eadt.co.uk

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