Council looks to get others involved in organising Christmas for Boston

The Boston Borough Council building.
The Boston Borough Council building.

A cash-strapped Boston Borough Council is looking to hear from residents, businesses and community groups for help with the festive period from 2016 onwards.

At a meeting of the cabinet this morning (Wednesday) councillors discussed the options available when their current Christmas light contract runs out at the end of this year.

Such provision is discretionary and certainly not statutory. This council, like many others is having to make difficult decisions about which services to support and maintain.

Boston Borough Council town centre portfolio holder Coun Paul Skinner

Suggestions included passing the buck to parish councils, including the Boston Town Area Committee which mirrors those authorities.

Although town centre portfolio holder Coun Paul Skinner said it was ‘virtually unthinkable’ for the area not to be covered in Christmas lights’ he said the council was ‘facing difficult decisions’.

He said: “Such provision is discretionary and certainly not statutory. This council, like many others is having to make difficult decisions about which services to support and maintain.”

However, he added that the council had ‘ample time’ to look at all the options.

Councillor Stephen Woodliffe noted that town councils such as Sleaford, Skegness, Louth provide their lights, however a report to the council also said South Kesteven Council paid for Grantham’s lights.

Spalding’s lights are owned by South Holland District Council but an agreement is in place with the Chamber of Commerce to manage the design and procurement of their annual event.

Coun Michael Brookes said Kirton and Swineshead parish councils provided their own lights.

Detailed proposals are set to be worked up for businesses and shops which might be interested in helping provide the lights and BTAC will discuss the plans at their meeting on September 16.

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For more see next week’s Boston Standard