Difficult times

I would like to acknowledge the article regarding local businesses donating money to Exmouth Christmas lights.

Being a small business in the town for more than 30 years, I can safely say, on behalf of myself and other businesses, the past couple of years have been extremely hard and it makes me very angry and disappointed to hear that the town council are criticising local businesses for not donating enough money for the Christmas lights.

To say that the businesses benefit from the lights is absolute rubbish. Yes, it is very nice to see them, but it does not bring in more customers and, at the end of the day, our donations have to come from profit.

We pay nearly �9,000 a year in business rates - for what? We still have to pay for a company to take away our waste; we still have to clean the pavements outside our office etc.

Every year, we are very pleased to support the town by taking out our promotional displays from our window and having a fully-lit Christmas theme.

Last year, we were asked to carry on the town theme of red and white and went to a lot of trouble buying the colours to go into our window display, only to see that Exmouth did not end up with a colour theme at all.

I enjoy Christmas very much, but would like to know why the council could not keep back �10,000 from the �3m-plus Strand development money to buy its own set of lights, like many other East Devon towns and villages, to be able to use for many years to come.

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From what I can see, the only people who will benefit from the lights will be the teenagers who now use The Strand at night as a skate/BMX park.

Hannah Burford

Travelworld, Rolle Street,

Exmouth.

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