Xmas lights appeal to second home owners

SECOND home owners in a picturesque Suffolk resort are being asked to dip into their pockets to help pay for this year's Christmas lights.Officials in Southwold said it was the “same people every year” paying for the display and they have now launched a campaign to ask the town's scores of holiday home owners to contribute.

SECOND home owners in a picturesque Suffolk resort are being asked to dip into their pockets to help pay for this year's Christmas lights.

Officials in Southwold said it was the “same people every year” paying for the display and they have now launched a campaign to ask the town's scores of holiday home owners to contribute.

The traditional lights display in the town costs £17,000 and this year the coffers are dangerously low - the money would usually have been raised by now but there is still a £3,000 gap.

Organisers of the display have published an appeal in two local publications - the Southwold Gazette and Southwold Organ - asking for money, while letting agents have also written to their clients asking them to consider contributing to the festive decorations.


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Sue Allen, chairman of the Christmas lights committee, said: “We're making second home owners aware of the situation - people who are not here all the time don't realise all the effort that goes into them.

“We're always raising money from the same businesses so we want to cast our nets further. It's not fair to expect the same people to pay for the lights year after year because they cost a considerable amount of money.”

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The initiative is being backed by the Southwold and District Chamber of Trade and Commerce.

Adele Buckley, secretary of the chamber, said: “There are a huge amount of people who let or own holiday homes who come down for the lights on the night but don't donate as much money as the local people.

“It's not that they won't donate but they're not here for all the fundraising.”

Suffolk Secrets, a holiday-home letting agency, is one of the companies that have sent out letters to owners.

James Ellis, director, said: “I hope some of them will make a donation because it's a brilliant cause to support.

“It's quite difficult every year because the lights cost a lot of money so the more new and innovative ways to raise money the better.”

The company lets out holiday homes on the behalf of second home owners. It has more than 100 cottages in Suffolk and has sent out 50 letters.

Anyone who wants to make a donation to the Christmas lights can call Sue Allen on 01502 722768.

n There will be a fundraising wine-tasting evening at The Cellar & Kitchen in the town between 6.30pm and 8pm on Friday, October 13. Tickets are on sale from there at £7.50 each.

kate.scotter@eadt.co.uk

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