The town that can't turn off its Christmas lights

Xmas lights
Xmas lights

A town council is facing an expensive electricity bill at the end of the month after installing a Christmas lights display that they can't turn off.

More than 60 sets of festive lights were plugged into lamp posts to line the streets in Connah's Quay in North Wales to bring Christmas cheer.

But council chiefs admitted the lights will be on for 24 hours a day over the next month because they were mistakenly installed without a timer, and they can't turn off the power to the street lights.

The lights are part of the annual Christmas light display, which includes a tree in the town centre and costs roughly £19,000 a year.

They were switched on at a festive ceremony on November 24, and are set to shine continuously for weeks throughout the Christmas period.

The Christmas tree in Connah's Quay in North Wales - Wales news service
The Christmas tree in Connah's Quay in North Wales - Wales news service

But the local taxpayers might be left picking up a much more expensive electricity bill than in previous years as soaring prices and the inability to turn the lights off will hike costs up.

Other towns have cut their displays this year altogether in the cost of living crisis - and some locals are furious at their own "blinking Blackpool illuminations."

One local said on social media: "Who foots the bill, especially with the extortionate prices currently being charged by our beloved energy suppliers?"

Another appeared to criticise the decision, writing simply, "This is a joke."

'It's too late to change this year'

Suzanne Wilson, recently appointed town clerk said: "Unfortunately when the lights were fitted in 2021, they weren't fitted with a timer which means they have to be on 24/7.

"We've spoken with the lights company and they would need to put a timer on every single lamppost, so that would mean fitting 63 individual timers which would obviously take time and come at a cost.

"We're in a five year contract with the company so it is something we will be looking at for next year as it's too late to change this year."

Addressing locals' concerns about energy costs, Ms Wilson said: "Ideally, we would have them on a timer and I wish they were on a timer to save on energy costs but unfortunately we can't change that at the moment. The tree is on a timer but unfortunately the lampposts aren't.

"We know that energy costs are going up everywhere, we have seen that in our buildings and it's affecting everybody. We try to do whatever possible to save money where we can and we will be looking into finding a solution for next year."