Town hall puts forward Christmas lights cash

Exmouth Town Hall.

Exmouth Town Hall. - Credit: Archant

The lights will not go out for festive shoppers this year, after town chiefs decided to bite the bullet and stumped up the cash to upgrade the system.

Christmas shoppers normally expect to be bathed in the colourful glow of festive lights as they potter around the town centre’s shops, looking for a present for loved ones.

Last year, however, many were shrouded in darkness - with a third of lights not working for half of the shops’ opening times.

And the reason was that the electricity used was siphoned off businesses.

Now, town hall chiefs have decided to spend £1,542 to install special ‘festive lights’ sockets.

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The Christmas lights cost around £10,000 annually and town clerk Lisa Bowman said at the recent full council meeting: “We have encountered some problems with intermittent power supply last year.

“It transpires that the solution is to upgrade the lampposts in Rolle Street and in The Parade, which means we can take the power straight off the lampposts rather than from the businesses.

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“Many of the businesses are on timers, which means that if the times are tampered with or changed, all the lights are out of synchronisation and we have problems with the displays.”

Finance chairman David Chapman said: “I think it’s a no brainer; the various charges will be negligible, because of the type of lights we will be using, and it will regularise the display of lights.”

Councillor Bill Nash said: “The Christmas lights working party does not want to see what happened last year when the lights were continually going out. A third of the lights were out for half the business period.

“We will ensure that this year we will have bright, visible working lights.”

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