OBSERVER: Two sides to the Christmas story?


Well, the town centre may not have been flooded with Christmas lights, but it certainly got the town talking.

It seems that if you or a relative were connected with the event, it was ‘brilliant’; on the other hand, if you had no connections but just wanted a good time, it was ... anything but.

The council website was quick (as usual) to praise the event. Coun Paul Skinner, the council’s portfolio holder for the town centre, said: “Despite these austere times and strict constraints on budgets, it was another spectacular Christmas event in the town centre.”

But when you read some of the comments on social media, you get a different story.

It was advertised as the Christmas lights switch-on, something a little difficult to do when there are few, if any, lights.

There were certainly none on any of the many lampposts, which, in previous years, had features on them, or down Bargate.

And it seems it took quite a while for people to realise that there were any lights on the Christmas tree, they were so dull.

I repeat my words of last week: guilty of criticism, not of negativity. It was great that some people were prepared to try to put on a decent show for the town when the council, which in the past has taken the lead, appeared to wash its hands of it, but were then equally prepared to take a lot of the credit.

I can’t remember the number of times I’ve asked councillors to speak to residents to find out what they feel about things: this time, they didn’t need to ask, just look at what was said on social media.

There’s another 12 months to get next year’s Christmas sorted out ... perhaps they should start thinking about it now.