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Are Britain’s Christmas light displays under threat?

Wherever you live, there’s bound to be a street not far from you that’s famous for its annual Christmas lights display. Many of these streets collect money for charity from those who come to see the display, while residents bear the cost of the extra electricity as well as buying the lights themselves.

This year, however, both local and national news have reported that some big switch-ons have been dampened by rules and regulations. Residents of Trinity Close in the Somerset town of Burnham-on-Sea decided to forego the big light show this year, after the local council advised against the use of traffic cones to keep crowds under control.

Close residents Nick and Hazel Gardner, who began the tradition, said:

“The council has told us that if anybody gets hurt, we will be liable… So we’re not making it an event this year.”

The street’s residents hope they can revive the tradition next year, if all goes well in their pre switch-on meeting with the council.

Meanwhile at Byron Road in New Milton, Hampshire, the festive lights will be back again next year, but 1st December 2019 saw the staging of the last switch-on event the street will ever hold. The street won a Daily Mail award in 2016 for being England’s best lit festive street, and intends to continue with the tradition. The switch-on event itself will no longer occur, however, with local Jason Dean citing the rising public liability insurance costs plus immense amounts of work involved.

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