Laurieston villagers fed up being left in the dark

Jane Fletcher, pictured with Rainbows, Brownies and Guides at the bare tree
Jane Fletcher, pictured with Rainbows, Brownies and Guides at the bare tree

Vandals cost a village its Christmas tree lights... but now there has been an appeal for a council rethink.

Every year the council installs a tree at Laurieston Cross. But five years ago, after the old lights had been repeatedly destroyed, it stopped decorating it with lights.

Resident and Girl Guide leader Jane Fletcher called the situation “a farce”.

Jane (60), a leader at 1st Laurieston Rainbows, Brownies and Guides, said: “Every year the council go to the trouble of getting a real tree and putting it up in the village but don’t put any lights on it.

“It must cost the council to put a tree there every year, but it’s a farce. Most people don’t even notice it’s been put up. I know things are tight, but where is their Christmas spirit?”

Jane hopes a local business will step in and offer the funds to buy lights.

“I did some research and the average quote was £500. But that would be a one off - once we have lights we can use them every year.

“The councillors have been great and agree there should be lights. We must be the only village without any, but they say there just isn’t the money.”

Local councillors told Jane the local authority had to make £40 million worth of savings in the next three years and there was no budget for lighting, but said they hoped to allocate funds by next Christmas.

Jane added: “Hopefully someone can help and buy some lights.”

Provost Pat Reid, who lives in Laurieston, agreed the village tree should be lit up.

He said: “The tree’s lights were frequently vandalised and the council took the decision to stop putting lights up.

“This was the case in a few locations but I think they have now all had lights reinstated. We need to look at Laurieston again. The tree should be lit up and I hope next year we will have lights, perhaps put in a location where they are less likely to be vandalised.”