Council distraught as Christmas lights fail safety check

Marion Short
Marion Short

Hawick Community Council’s Christmas lights display is in tatters this week after it fell foul of health and safety legislation.

And according to council chairwomam Marion Short, who this week denied she was about to resign over the lighting fiasco, said both herself and her fellow community councillors are distraught at the development.

This year the lighting was supposed to extend to the Howegate but there is now not enough time left to apply for a road closure order, while several fitting plates in High Street a have been deemed inadequate.

Explaining the situation this week, Mr Short said: “It has been confirmed that the plaques on the walls in the High Street are definitely not satisfactory to accommodate the heavier panel lights.

“To allow for disruption to traffic and pedestrians, the engineer recommended that this new work should take place mid-summer 2016 it could be carried out in maximum daylight hours.

She added: “It is fair to say all us volunteers are at our wit’s end trying to salvage what has been forced on us and we are only conforming to what is required by the council, and it does not help when we receive criticism for
what we are trying to
achieve.”

Responding to Facebook comments criticising this year’s lights, Mrs Short added: “We are between a rock and a hard place and I just wish all those people who are moaning and who do criticise came along and tried to help, either in person or by digging deeper into their pockets to provide some much-needed funding. Or for contractors who could give some equipment and
time voluntarily to assist
us.

“Regretfully everything is now on hold but gestures such as this would be appreciated next year.”