Democracy in action - people in Wisbech say yes to new Christmas lights costing thousands

Wisbech Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A 10-day consultation run by Wisbech Town Council has given approval to spending up to £30,000 on Christmas lights.

Wisbech Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams.

Wisbech Christmas Lights Switch on 2013. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A 10-day consultation run by Wisbech Town Council has given approval to spending up to £30,000 on Christmas lights.

Residents were asked to say YES or NO to the idea and the result was announced at Monday’s meeting.

Despite the vote attracting a ‘turn out’ of less than two per cent, town clerk Terry Jordan felt the idea had widespread support.

Mr Jordan said: “The percentage of voters wasn’t huge but the result shows that the people of Wisbech want this.


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“It’s a very tight schedule but one that is workable. The wheels were put in motion within hours of the town council meeting ending. Everything is falling into place.

“We had some enlightening comments included with the votes, the main theme being let’s get our act together - Wisbech is the capital of the Fens so let’s make the lights show once that the town can be proud of.”

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The lights have been ordered from the company which designs Blackpool Illuminations and the workmen hired in preparation for when the display is switched on at 5pm on November 30.

Out of 277 people who voted (out of a possible 16,000), a resounding 227 agreed to new lights while 36 people disapproved; 14 votes were declared invalid.

The vote involved asking people living in Wisbech PE13 or PE14 areas if they thought the town council should employ a specialist company and spend up to £30,000 to light up the town for the Christmas season.

Phase one involves buying the lights for the 2014 season at a cost of £19,000.

The new lights will bring a splash of Christmas cheer to the town centre while existing old stock will illuminate the drive into town along Nene Quay and Freedom Bridge.

Phase two involves using the remaining £11,000 to enhance the market place for future years to give it a community hub vibe.

Part of that will involve ensuring electricity power points and fixings are in the correct places in the town centre for festive lights in the future.

A fund raising committee will be set up to help recover the cost of the lights, beginning with a £500 donation from Councillor Steve Tierney.

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