No lights test?

I would like to reply to Cliff Lenn’s letter in last week’s journal, in which he criticises the two town traders for responding to the attack made against them from the chairman of the Exmouth Chamber of Trade and Commerce, concerning donations towards the Christmas lights.

Mr Lenn says we should be more understanding as the gentleman concerned is still learning the ropes. Well, I am afraid that the said gentleman and the ECTC, as a whole, hanged themselves with the said ropes when they publicly backed plans for a food and drink outlet in The Strand on the very doorstep of most of these traders and in direct competition. Just what an earth did the ECTC chairman expect their reaction to be?

Mr Lenn does rightly make one important comment regarding the benefit of lights towards the income at Christmas to the town traders as “immeasurably small”. So why don’t we put it to the test. Let’s have no lights this year and see if it makes any difference to the trader. If it does not, and I am sure it will not, let’s stop expecting this one section of the community to pay for everyone. It just isn’t fair and it isn’t right .

As a last point, may I give the chairman of the ECTC some advice? Rather than asking the town traders to give up �10,000 of their hard-earned cash, perhaps he should go and see his friends who have just spent �3.5 million creating a barren wilderness in the town centre and point out to them that, if they had kept The Strand as it was and used this money instead for the Christmas lights, it would have covered the cost for the next 350 years .

It rather brings it home as to just how much �3.5 million is - and how it has been wasted.

Mr D Lawash

(via email).