Confusion over Christmas lights

BUSINESSES in Worle High Street will be expected to cough up about �1,500 for Christmas lights they say they never asked for.

Worle High Street Traders Association was about to write to shops and offices in the area to tell them they would not be getting any festive decorations this December, as the group is still trying to pay for last year’s illuminations.

So business owners may have been surprised last week to see lights going up in the High Street, something they do not appear to have agreed to.

Association chairman, Mike Skidmore, says he and other committee members had agreed to make a token payment towards last year’s debt of about �1,000 to the town council, by fund-raising in the new year.

But he added that the group had no intention of agreeing to more lights this year as it is unable to pay for them.

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The town council says it felt Worle should not miss out this year, that there is an agreement in place for the association to contribute and that it is looking for about �1,500 from businesses.

Mr Skidmore said: “We are grateful to the town council for not wanting to leave Worle out this year.

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“But that fact is, we are unable to pay off another �1,500 when we are still trying to raise the money for last year’s lights.

“Our dwindling numbers mean that the responsibility for fund-raising falls to less than a handful of people most of the time.

“If businesses want the lights in the future, it is going to mean more hands on deck when it comes to organising events.”

Weston Town Council clerk Malcolm Nicholson told the Mercury that is would expect the association to fund-raise towards the end of 2011 to pay a contribution towards the lights.

* Anyone who wants to join the traders’ association or attend monthly meetings to help with fund-raising is asked to call Mike Skidmore on 01934 513740.

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