Councillors Speak Out Against Christmas Lights Charges

>> 1 November 2017

Local SNP councillors Stephen Smith (Peterhead South & Cruden) and Anne Allan (Peterhead North & Rattray) have spoken out against proposals by Aberdeenshire Council to charge community groups for the cost of electricity used by Christmas light displays.

The move followed a meeting of the Buchan Area Committee yesterday (Tuesday) where councillors were being asked their views on a new policy for festive light displays. Among the proposals from the council were that community groups should be liable for the cost of the electricity used by Christmas light displays. At the meeting, both councillors spoke out against the charges as an unfair burden on voluntary groups.

Cllr Stephen Smith said:

“Our local communities do a lot to raise money to finance the Christmas light displays, maintain them, get them up and take them back down again. That’s a lot of work for volunteers to do and I think it’s only right that the council continues to make a contribution by way of meeting the electricity costs.

“The amounts we’re talking about in each community are fairly small and I think it’s a small price to pay for the festive displays which enhance our towns and villages each year.”

Cllr Anne Allan added:

“Many people don’t realise that the annual Christmas lights displays in towns and villages across Aberdeenshire are entirely the responsibility of local voluntary groups, who do a great job in brightening up the festive season.

“To ask them to find extra money for the cost of the electricity would be an additional burden on their resources and fundraising efforts and I’m glad the Buchan Area Committee agreed unanimously that our view is we don’t want to see this extra cost imposed.”

The issue will be decided by Aberdeenshire Council’s Infrastructure Services Committee in the near future.

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