Disappointment as council forced to cancel Christmas light switch on this winter

Hartlepool's Christmas lights. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO <i>(Image: NORTHERN ECHO)</i>
Hartlepool's Christmas lights. Picture: NORTHERN ECHO (Image: NORTHERN ECHO)

A North East council has left its townspeople disappointed after cancelling its Christmas light switch-on event for 2022, due to money worries.

As the cost of living crisis sets in for homeowners across the UK, it seems that even councils aren't immune to financial struggles at this time of year.

For many, Christmas light switch-ons are a sign that the festive period has begun, as well as bringing joy to families and young children.

However, for one council in the North East - their big Christmas event won't be happening this year, due to the lack of funding.

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Posting online on Monday (November 28), Hartlepool Borough Council announced it wouldn't be able to fulfil its light switch-on this year because of a lack of grants, funding, and the fact that they have already financed a firework display in 2022.

Taking to its social media page, the council said: "Given the substantial financial pressures facing the Council, we have made the difficult decision not to have a Christmas Light Switch-On event this year.

"Our events budget is dependent on grants and although we had the fireworks display earlier this month, that was actually funded from one-off money in a department reserve.

"The Christmas lights will therefore come on automatically at dusk this Friday afternoon.

"We have over recent years sought funds wherever possible to increase the Christmas lights display across the town and we hope people will appreciate us prioritising that over a switch-on event."

Despite the council putting on a measured post about its light switch on, many took to the comments section to criticise the council for its announcement.

Commenting on the post, one social media user said: "This is outrageous, councils are spending money on unnecessary items but cancel something that brings a lot of joy to many," while another added: "An utter disgrace, surely the council can fund it - I don't understand how this happens."

However, not everyone was negative about the whole thing.

Defending the council, one person said: "This is a sensible move, people are struggling and it shows that councils are too. A good move from you I think."

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