Lights cash is in the post'

PUBLISHED: 13:05 03 November 2006 | UPDATED: 22:21 28 May 2010

UP to 8,000 special envelopes yet to be returned to March Town Hall could hold a tidy sum to boost the Christmas Lights appeal. In April, the Christmas Lights Committee sent out 9,000 of the money-raising envelopes - but by this week fewer than 1,000 had

UP to 8,000 special envelopes yet to be returned to March Town Hall could hold a tidy sum to boost the Christmas Lights appeal.

In April, the Christmas Lights Committee sent out 9,000 of the money-raising envelopes - but by this week fewer than 1,000 had been returned with donations to this year's appeal.

However, the amount raised by those returned is £1,642, so the town council is anxious to get in as many envelopes as possible.

"This will actually be the last year we do this sort of appeal," said town clerk Clive Lemmon. "The amount raised has dropped each of the last few years, but we are still hopeful many people have the envelopes still and will want to get them back with a donation, however small it may be."

Mr Lemmon said the annual running costs of the lights was about £12,500, but this did not include finding the money to upgrade or replace some of them.

"We are going to have to consider new ways of raising the money," he said. "That may involve asking the town council to contribute more, or finding other ways of getting in revenue.

"We are determined the lights will continue - they are a huge asset to the town and give everyone reason to be proud of March. I would hate to think there could ever be a day when we went back to how it used to be, before the lights took off."

This year's appeal has received a major boost from the Cambs Times after we donated 1,000 special "Christmas Lights" badges, and Mr Lemmon said these had been selling particularly well. The £1 sale price goes direct to the lights appeal.

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