Future of Budleigh's Christmas lights unknown as council decides against taking them on

This year's Christmas lights in Budleigh Salterton

The 2021 Christmas lights in Budleigh high street. - Credit: Helen Warren, Budleigh Salterton Chamber of Commerce

The responsibility for putting up Budleigh Salrerton's Christmas lights could be outsourced to a third-party organisation from this year after the town council decided against taking them on.

At a meeting of Budleigh Salterton Town Council, members were being asked by Budleigh and District Chamber of Commerce to take on responsibility for the lights.

However, councillors voted against the motion, but did discuss the possibility of outsourcing the lights to a third-party company, who would come and put the lights up and take them away.  

Councillor Alan Jones said: “I don’t think we ought to support an agreement that we look after something for many years to come."

Cllr Lynda Evans said: “I enjoy seeing the lights and I do think this council has always supported whatever organisations put them up each year, like last year we paid for the installation and removal of the lights, but not all the lights were working last year which means they will have to be replaced, we are very late in the year to start raising money for replacements, Exmouth and other towns I believe hire their lights and whether that’s the route to go down, I don’t know."  

“It's nice to celebrate Christmas, if you go into some towns, they just have a Christmas tree on every shop with some fairy lights on it which looks very nice and isn't that expensive to install.” 

Cllr David Hayward said: “Over the last 10 years we have probably contributed about £1,000 towards these lights every year, last year we contributed more than £2,600, which covered the removal and the installation, I too would like to see the lights stay, whether its capital or revenue, the money is set for the town, and not to have the displays we have had in previous years would be a shame."

Most Read

Councillor Alan Jones concluded: "Let's have someone from the company sit down with us and agree a term each year for the lights, so they money isn't a set fee, it gets decided on a yearly basis.” 

Members did not want to make a long-term financial commitment and therefore voted to not take on the organisation of the festive lighting.