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> Christmas Lights ....
spartacus
post Oct 14 2010, 08:33 AM
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Any idea whether the lights will be going up around town again this year? And any idea how much the whole set-up costs as far as erecting them, maintaining them, powering them up and then dismantling once the festivities are over? Must be a tidy sum and a potentially large figure that could be saved if we decided to have a year without lights .........

At the risk of being accused of being a miserable begger I rather hope they can be kept in their boxes for a couple of years as one fairly significant contribution towards general budgetary savings..........

Christmas lights twinkling down on rows of empty shops doesn’t really do it for me..........
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Bloggo
post Oct 14 2010, 08:39 AM
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It would be sad if Newbury don't put up the lights this year but I can understand if the council doesn't this year. I don't think that the major store owners have made a lot of profit over the past year so I don't expect there will be additional contribution from them.
I do hope that Hungerford puts theirs up. Much better than Newbury's.


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Bofem
post Oct 14 2010, 09:25 AM
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Think it's in the order of £30k a year - or £2.50 per household.

Tricky one - damned if you do and damned if you don't.

Alternatives?

Use the money to buy a train ticket to Hungerford for everyone in Newbury.

Town council buys us all a Christmas drink instead or subsidises entry to the fireworks at the racecourse.

Make the lights cycle powered, linked to a bank of exercise bikes.







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HJD
post Oct 14 2010, 01:25 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Oct 14 2010, 09:33 AM) *
At the risk of being accused of being a miserable begger


You miserable begger. rolleyes.gif
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spartacus
post Oct 14 2010, 01:39 PM
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It took a while but I knew someone on here would do me the honours eventually..... biggrin.gif
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TallDarkAndHands...
post Oct 14 2010, 03:13 PM
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QUOTE (spartacus @ Oct 14 2010, 09:33 AM) *
Any idea whether the lights will be going up around town again this year? And any idea how much the whole set-up costs as far as erecting them, maintaining them, powering them up and then dismantling once the festivities are over? Must be a tidy sum and a potentially large figure that could be saved if we decided to have a year without lights .........

At the risk of being accused of being a miserable begger I rather hope they can be kept in their boxes for a couple of years as one fairly significant contribution towards general budgetary savings..........

Christmas lights twinkling down on rows of empty shops doesn’t really do it for me..........


Quite agree. And how about Christmas starting in December rather than the 1st November. That would be a novelty!
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Darren
post Oct 14 2010, 03:45 PM
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and finishing on 12th night rather than Maundy Thursday
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GMR
post Oct 14 2010, 04:00 PM
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The lights last year were pretty poor so I hope there will be an improvement this year.
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Richard Garvie
post Oct 14 2010, 04:00 PM
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Would I be the only one who enjoys Christmas???
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 14 2010, 07:34 PM
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The cost to the tax-payer for the Christmas Lights this year is £46.0k, that's an average of £3.65 per household. Main costs are £23.1k for the contractor, £11.5k for service staffing, £2.9k for the switch-on event, with £6.1k revenue including a £5.0k contribution from the Town Centre Partnership.

Those are the figures the Council publish. In reality the Council give the Town Centre Partnership a £4.0k grant each year so actually the Town Centre Partnership only stump up £1.0k, so £50.0k is more honest. However, the Council don't like to roll their considerable back-office admin and overhead costs into their service costs, so the true cost of the Christmas Lights this year is really £67.4k, and that's £5.35 per household - that would buy a bottle of mulled wine and six deep filled mince pies.

The cost of the Christmas Lights has gone up 99% in the last six years - staffing costs are 200% higher.

I love Chrimble, and the lights are jolly, but at the end of the day it's a promotional event for the town's traders, so why in the name of the Great Prophet Zarquon does the Town Centre Partnership only chip in £1k? And how does the Town Council manage to spend so much money on the thing?

Other towns put on a good show at reasonable cost by getting a serious contribution from the shops that get the benefit, and others give the job to a voluntary organising committee.


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dannyboy
post Oct 14 2010, 10:56 PM
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Years ago it was provided at negligible cost. I worked for a firm that in october supplied about 2500 RS 40w clear GLS lamps to the council's electrician. He & his labourer would replace the lamps thats needed to be replaced in the decorations & then the pair would take about 2 weeks to go around town & install them. As the decorations were owned by the town & the electrician & his mate were on the payroll the total annual cost of the lights was the lamps. Lamps cost about £1000.
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Biker1
post Oct 15 2010, 07:37 AM
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Just leave them up.
#
Christmas (are we allowed to call it that these days? rolleyes.gif ) seems to last all year anyway!
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Iommi
post Oct 15 2010, 07:50 AM
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I agree in principle with leaving them up, but I suspect they are taken down to protect them.
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Richard Garvie
post Oct 15 2010, 10:02 AM
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I caught a bit of South Today last night, and just as we switched it on I caught a story about a town not having Christmas lights this year. Not sure what the town was, but do we want to be as miserable as that place??? Come on, the Christmas lights are TRADITION and the event is something where the community can come together in the market place and for just a few moments, we are all in the same place for the same purpose. By all means look at more efficient ways of doing it or passing it to the traders, but talk of doing away with the lights and the event is scandalous!!!
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HeatherW
post Oct 15 2010, 04:28 PM
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I was not impressed last year, but I suppose with all the government and local cutbacks we will be lucky to get anything this year.
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spartacus
post Oct 15 2010, 06:11 PM
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QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 15 2010, 11:02 AM) *
Come on, the Christmas lights are TRADITION and the event is something where the community can come together in the market place and for just a few moments, we are all in the same place for the same purpose.
Aaaa-Menn....

You can't let sloppy sentiment get in the way in these times of austerity.... switch the lights off and think of the savings, I say!!

QUOTE (Richard Garvie @ Oct 15 2010, 11:02 AM) *
...but talk of doing away with the lights and the event is scandalous!!!
..and talk of doing away with peoples JOBS isn't scandalous? That £30k-£67k could be made to go a long way
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Strafin
post Oct 15 2010, 06:18 PM
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There's loads of things the council could do to save money that many of us would be for or against. I'm more than happy with job cuts because I am far from happy with the service we get from West Berks, Christmas lights are something that could be cut but how horrible would it be to see Newbury in the press for being miserly and humbuggy right at a time when we are trying to keep the town alive.
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Simon Kirby
post Oct 15 2010, 06:47 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Oct 15 2010, 07:18 PM) *
There's loads of things the council could do to save money that many of us would be for or against. I'm more than happy with job cuts because I am far from happy with the service we get from West Berks, Christmas lights are something that could be cut but how horrible would it be to see Newbury in the press for being miserly and humbuggy right at a time when we are trying to keep the town alive.

The Christmas Lights are provided by Newbury Town Council rather than West Berks, but you're argument's still sound.

It's easy money for the Town Council because they just bung another sixty grand on the precept and unless you look very hard you'd have no idea how much they spend on so little. (Incidentally, if anyone wants the spreadsheet of exactly what the Council does spend, and how it's gone up over the last six years, just drop me a PM).

I see no reason to forego the lights. It would indeed be a sorry state not to have them, and I'd hand the problem to the Town Centre Partnership and let them come up with the cash, because it's trade that would suffer.


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JeffG
post Oct 15 2010, 06:52 PM
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If the retailers want the lights to go with starting Christmas on 1st October then they should pay for them, not the taxpaying public.
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spartacus
post Oct 15 2010, 06:56 PM
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QUOTE (Strafin @ Oct 15 2010, 07:18 PM) *
I'm more than happy with job cuts because I am far from happy with the service we get from West Berks
Careful what you wish for..... rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (Strafin @ Oct 15 2010, 07:18 PM) *
....but how horrible would it be to see Newbury in the press for being miserly and humbuggy right at a time when we are trying to keep the town alive.
This year I would think there could be great many towns that will be cutting back on the festive light pollution




Anyone who pangs for such twinkly treats should get themselves down to Southend Bradfield for the annual chavfest....
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