‘Monaco’ Christmas lights to be scrapped

The £9,000 Christmas lights which once lit up festivities in Monaco and Hawick are lying in a heap waiting to be scrapped at the burgh yard.

And, according to the community council, it’s proving difficult to get someone to take them off the group’s hands.

The 15 eight-metre glitzy panels were bought in 2002 by Hawick Business Forum with the help of a large cash injection from Hawick Common Good Fund.

Their purchase caused controversy at the time after a Common Good Fund grant was applied for retrospectively and the public were asked to help foot the bill through collections.

In 2005, several of the uninsured panels, which were stored at premises in Commercial Road, were damaged in flooding and the others are no longer needed.

Councillor Andy Maybury told Monday night’s community council meeting that the best plan would be to strip the lights down into various recyclable categories and for the council to recycle the lights themselves.

Councillor George Turnbull said he could take the matter up with SBC and would get back to the group as quickly as possible.

Christmas lights in Hawick first originated through the Rotary Club in the 1960s, and for the past 15 years have been a voluntary project undertaken by Hawick Chamber of Trade, Hawick Business Forum and, latterly, Hawick Community Council.

The Christmas parade and lights display are viewed as a success story and Hawick Community Council chair Marion Short has been asked to attend other towns to give advice on how to run successful festive parade. And speaking this week, Mrs Short said: “The lights have been unused for quite a few years now and are sitting in a corner of the burgh yard at Mansfield taking up valuable space. The community council initially thought there may have been some scrap value in the panels but we were advised that this was not the case.

“Councillor George Turnbull said he would take the matter up with the council and he has in fact been in touch with me to say that a solution may have been found and that they could possibly be uplifted and taken to Galashiels for recycling.”