Hunstanton town council say no to festive lights

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Hunstanton town councillors have voted against replacing the Spinney tree lights – despite the Chamber of Commerce being in favour of their return

At a general purposes committee meeting on Wednesday night, eight of the 12 councillors present voted against spending money on and replacing the lights which were last used three years ago.

Councillors Bird, Bishop, Wilby, Jones, Dunbar, Croucher, Murray and Winnington were all against, while councillors Smith, Clutton and Bower were in favour and councillor Earnshaw abstained.

Michael Ruston, secretary of the Chamber of Commerce, said: “The lights looked very pretty and the public appreciated them. Different people will have different opinions, but the lights really help get people in the Christmas spirit.

“They help brighten up the town and we were fully in favour of replacing the Spinney Tree lights when we met in mid-September.

“When the town council met, eight of the 12 present were opposed to the idea. Had the full quota been there the result may have been different.

“They obviously feel that the money should be held back and spent on other things, where as we feel the lights would benefit and add something to the town.

“I have informed (borough council deputy leader) Alistair Beales that we would like the lights to be replaced.”

A final decision on whether the lights will return rests with West Norfolk Council.

Mr Ruston said: “The borough council have offered to replace them and after seeking our opinions the decision remains with them.

“We will have to wait and see what happens, but there is a need for a decision to be made very quickly, especially with the Christmas lights switch-on in Hunstanton taking place on Sunday, November 29.”

It is believed the lights would have cost £14,000 to replace, which could have come out of a £100,000 pot from McCarthy and Stone as part of a deal to build a new retirement home in the town.