Local Christmas Celebrations Update

by stewartgolton on 9 November, 2011

We were shocked as local residents when we heard that Leeds City Council announced in May that they were not willing to fund the Christmas illuminations in our area, and were cancelling the traditional Switch On Ceremony on Commercial Street. To add insult to injury they announced that the Leeds City Centre lights and Switch on were being prioritised instead.

My colleague, Don Wilson, took the lead on this, determined that Christmas would not be cancelled in our area. First he secured the funding locally to make sure our communities got their traditional lights:

June Press Release: Christmas saved by local Councillors
Councillor Donald Wilson (Lib Dem, Rothwell) today announced the plans that are afoot to save Christmas lights.  The proposals would see Christmas trees and lights brighten up streets in Commercial Street, Rothwell weeks after the Council announced they were pulling the plug. Cllr Wilson has asked to use the South (Outer) Area Committee’s own money to ensure that Christmas gets the go-ahead.  The total earmarked for the Christmas light fund is £4,480 across the Rothwell area.  Cllr Wilson said:
“Getting our lights cut by the Civic Hall was a body blow locally and the local Councillors knew we had to solve this problem locally.
“It has been said time and again that Christmas lights are important for the local community in Rothwell.  The total cost is good value for money for our residents. They encourage people to shop in the local area and they cheer the town up during the darkest time of the year.
“Rothwell is used to being overlooked by the Council but we have a tradition of these popular community events being taken on by volunteers.  We’re discussing how to tackle the switch on event, but needless to say we will be doing our utmost to ensure that the hundreds of residents that turn out will be treated to a show.”

The funding ensured that there would still be “Carols Round the Tree” in Woodlesford, Carlton and outside Rothwell One Stop Shop. The only task to complete was seeing whether a Switch On Ceremony could be organised. Don discussed the matter immediately with the Rothwell & District Carnival Committee.  Although worn out after organising the best Summer Carnival yet, the Group agreed to look at it, knowing how important the event is to the community and to traders. Happily for us, they did not hesitate for long, and have taken on the challenge of a Christmas Carnival that promises to be quite an event. The Christmas Carnival will see a street market, entertainment , fun fair rides, and a brass band, all following on from the Christmas Fair at the Blackburn Hall on the same day, Saturday 26th November.

I understand that Aire Valley Homes have generously given a grant, and that this, added to the money the Carnival Committee raised at an excellent Quiz Night at the Blackburn Hall,should be enough to pay for a fireworks display, so the evening will finish with the traditional bang. A big thank you from the Lib Dem team to the Carnival Committee volunteers for making this happen.

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