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draft festive decorations report - Pendle Borough Council Homepage

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									SCRUTINY REVIEW OF FESTIVE DECORATIONS




                   DRAFT


    REPORT OF THE SCRUTINY PANEL




                 Councillors –
        T. Barton            D. Lord
        M E. Bell (Leader)   M. Norcross
        C. Belshaw           B. Parker
        S. Dunn              J. Robinson
        D. Foster
                      CONTENTS




1.   INTRODUCTION AND TERMS OF REFERENCE              3

2.   METHOD OF REVIEW                                 3

3.   FINDINGS                                         4
          Current situation                           4
     Budget Allocations 2005/06, 2006/07
      and 2007/08                                     4
     2006/07 Christmas Displays                       6
     Public Opinion                                   7
     Alternative Funding Arrangements                 8

4.   CONCLUSIONS                                      9

5.   RECOMMENDATIONS                                  9


     APPENDIX A –
     Analysis of Festive Decorations Survey 2006/07   10




                           2
            FESTIVE DECORATIONS SCRUTINY PANEL


Report on scrutiny review of the Allocation of Funding for Festive
Decorations


1.    INTRODUCTION AND TERMS OF REFERENCE

1.1   Last year Councillors from Brierfield & Reedley and Nelson independently requested that
      a scrutiny review take place into how the Council’s budget for festive decorations is
      distributed across the borough with a view to ensuring that the allocation is fair and
      equitable.

1.2   The Terms of Reference for the review were as follows –

      1. To gain a clear insight as to the festive decorations provided in each area and by
         whom.
      2. To establish how resources are currently distributed.
      3. To consider any possible future issues which may impact on resources.
      4. To determine the level of satisfaction with the resources allocated between the Area
         Committees
      5. To agree to what extent the allocation is or is not equitable and make
         recommendations for any adjustments deemed necessary.


2.    METHOD OF REVIEW

2.1   Non-scrutiny Councillor B. Parker participated with us in this review.

2.2   We took a tour of the Christmas decorations during December to gain an understanding
      of which decorations were provided by whom and how the displays in the various towns
      and villages compared.

2.3   We sought written and documentary evidence as well as interviewing a variety of
      “witnesses” and consulting with relevant organisations and the public.

2.4   The Principal Engineer and the Town Centres Officer submitted briefing notes and
      appeared as witnesses to answer members’ questions.

2.5   The Engineering and Special Projects Manager, two representatives from “Lite” and the
      Executive member for Resources, Councillor D. M. Whipp, also appeared as witnesses.

2.6   We consulted Area Committees in respect of levels of satisfaction with the allocation of
      funding.

2.7   We also consulted the public via an on-line questionnaire on the Council’s website.

2.8   Information on the provision in neighbouring authorities was also collated and
      considered.


                                                3
2.9   Opportunities for alternative funding sources were also explored.


3.    OUR FINDINGS

      Current Situation

3.1   Festive decorations throughout the Borough are currently provided either via Borough
      Council funds or Town and Parish Council funding.

3.2   The allocation of the central budget between the five areas was agreed on the
      establishment of the Area Committees in 1995 and was based on what had actually been
      spent on festive decorations in each area previously. This pattern has continued and the
      allocation therefore does not relate to electorate or population.

3.3   The Council’s central budget is supplemented by capital funding allocated as seen fit by
      the individual Area Committees.

      Budget Allocations 2005/06, 2006/07 and 2007/08

3.4   The following table shows how the Council’s total spend for 2005/06 and 2006/07 on
      festive decorations (Christmas and Eid) was distributed across the Area Committees.

               Area                2005/06       2005/06             2006/07       2006/07
                                   Central      Area Cttee           Central      Area Cttee
                                  Allocation     Capital            Allocation     Capital
                                                Contributio                       Contributio
                                     (£)           n (£)               (£)           n (£)
        Barrowford &
        Western Parishes
                                    6,070.00      3, 700.00            6,070.00       5,795.00
        Brierfield & Reedley
                                    3,090.00         1,400.00          3,090.00       5,000.00
        Colne & District
                                   18,210.00          3,875.00        18,210.00     10,462.50
        Nelson                      16,240.00         8,000.00        16,240.00     10,000.00
        West Craven                 23.220.00        13,000.00        23,220.00     18,000.00
                                                (infrastructure &
                                                switch-on event)
        TOTAL                       66,830.00        29,975.00        66,830.00     49,257.50

3.5   Some of us were surprised to learn of the substantial “hidden” infrastructure costs
      associated with new decorations e.g. brackets, wall plates, installation of new power
      supplies etc. which, whilst one-off costs, amounted to the following spend for 2006/07 –

                           Area                      Infrastructure costs 2006/07
                                                                  (£)
            Barrowford & Western                                240.00
            Parishes
            Brierfield & Reedley                                 960.00
            Colne & District                                   5,700.00
            Nelson                                             7,855.00
            West Craven                                          120.00
            TOTAL                                            £14,635.00
                                                 4
3.6   The Council’s total expenditure compares as follows with other neighbouring authorities –

         Authority      2006/07 Expenditure                      Comments
                                 (£)
        Burnley              55,000.00              Very small PC contribution plus
                                                    Town Centre Management
                                                    contribution.
        Chorley               18,000.00             Nil for renewals. Always overspend
                                                    and extra costs allocated to other
                                                    budgets. No PC contribution
        Hyndburn              49,000.00             Covers 3 town centres plus 14 trees
                                                    and 6 cribs. Area Councils
                                                    contributed £8,000 for additional
                                                    decorations.
        Lancaster             30,000.00             Insufficient – always overspend.
                                                    TCs, PCs and TC forums suggest
                                                    Council donation matched pound for
                                                    pound. Lancaster and Morecambe
                                                    Chambers spend 1½ times above
                                                    amount.
        Preston               38,000.00             City Management made a
                                                    contribution. PCs tend to put up
                                                    trees. Private sector covers two big
                                                    shopping centres.
        Ribble                   ------             Don’t do Christmas decorations but
        Valley                                      have a small grant allocation for bids
                                                    from e.g. TCs.

3.7   It became apparent that this Council spends considerably more than its neighbours,
      some of whom are in a more advantageous position because their outdoor private
      shopping centres, e.g. Charter Walk, Burnley, provide their own decorations and this
      makes a very considerable contribution to the overall display at no cost to the Council.

3.8   Whilst the Pendlerise Centre in Nelson does erect its own display this is entirely within
      the enclosed shopping centre and does not contribute to the appearance of the town
      centre itself.

3.9   We sought information from the Parish and Town Councils as to the amount that they
      spent on festive decorations and received the following response -

          Parish/Town          2006/07 Allocation                      Comments
             Council
         Barley                           Nil            £300 spent in 2005 for new lights for
                                                         village tree. Also reward volunteers
                                                         who erect tree and over 60s with
                                                         chocolates and contribute to children’s
                                                         party.
         Barnoldswick               £2,864.00            £4,799 in 2005/06 and £3,000
                                                         proposed for 2007/08. (Includes
                                                         contribution to switch-on event and
                                                         erection/dismantling costs.)
         Barrowford                 £6,000.00            £3,000 in 2005/06

                                                5
          Brierfield                £2,000.00           £9,393 in 2005/06
          Earby                     £1,300.00           Also funds Churches Together
                                                        Christmas card
          Foulridge                     Nil             Provides senior citizens’ Christmas
                                                        lunch
          Goldshaw Booth               £258             £234 in 2005/06. This relates to cost
                                                        of erecting and dismantling lights on
                                                        permanent growing Christmas tree
          Laneshawbridge                Nil
          Old Laund                     Nil             Provide a Christmas party for over 80s.
          Booth
          Reedley                       Nil
          Hallows
          Salterforth                   Nil

3.10 The Council’s central allocation for 2007/08 at the time of writing is as follows –

                                    Area                               2007/08
                                                                       Central
                                                                    Allocation (£)
              Barrowford & Western Parishes                            6,320.00
              Brierfield & Reedley                                     3,170.00
              Colne & District                                        18,720.00
              Nelson                                                  16,880.00
              West Craven                                             24,500.00
              TOTAL                                                   69,590.00

2006/07 Christmas Displays

3.11 We made a tour of the Borough’s Christmas lighting displays on 12th December taking in
     most of the towns and villages.- i.e. Nelson, Colne, Laneshawbridge, Trawden, Foulridge,
     Kelbrook, Sough, Earby, Salterforth, Barnoldswick Blacko, Barrowford, Fence and
     Brierfield. We were given details of what was provided in the Pendleside villages which
     were not included in the tour.

3.12 Our tour showed clearly just how many decorations are displayed across the Borough.

3.13 The following were the most significant points which we noted –

         We generally preferred the coloured lights to the white ones.
         The display on Brierfield Town Hall was good but other decorations in the town were a
          little sparse.
         The trees provided by the Parish Council in Barrowford enhanced the colourful display
          which was probably considered the best overall.
         The two new trees in Barnoldswick Town Square were very impressive.
         Foulridge and Laneshawbridge were somewhat disappointing.
         Displays on significant buildings such as Higherford Mill and the Toll House in
          Barrowford might be worthy of consideration.

3.14 The following is a summary of the responses of the Area Committees to our enquiry
     about their level of satisfaction –

          Area Committee                               Comments
                                                6
       Barrowford &               Funding for the area is inadequate.
       Western                    Each village should have Xmas tree
       Parishes
       Brierfield & Reedley       Consider allocating budget “per capita”
       Colne & District           Displays opp. Cemetery, top of Heifer Lane and
                                   outside Town Hall very popular. Prefer coloured lights
                                   to white.
                                  Concerned that no decs. between banks and Market
                                   Hall and that display at Queen Street/Albert Road
                                   remained unlit throughout.
                                  Village trees poor.
                                  Decs. needed on shops near town centre on Skipton
                                   Road.
                                  Competitions for shop keepers’ and householders’
                                   displays suggested.
                                  Need to limit expenditure at some point.
       Nelson                     Nelson TC tree lights need to be brighter
                                  Decs poor in comparison to other areas of Borough
                                  More funding should be allocated in future years.
       West Craven                Most popular were trees on poles, Salterforth tree and
                                   trees in Barnoldswick town square.
                                  Requests for crib in Earby and more lights on trees in
                                   Sough.
                                  WC historically received higher level of funding to
                                   decorate 4 towns/villages + Barnoldswick.
                                  Any reduction in resources would reduce decorations
                                   displayed.
                                  Newer decs expensive but cheaper to run.
                                  Limit should be imposed on expenditure.
                                  Support from local businesses or sponsorship could
                                   be pursued.

3.15 Lite provided a list of the existing decorations and their condition which showed that the
     Brierfield stock seems to be in the worst condition.

Public Opinion

3.16 It was interesting to receive information from a Citizens’ Panel survey from February,
     2003 in respect of rating of festive decorations in which three-quarters of panel members
     rated them as average or better. Brierfield and Earby were rated slightly worse than the
     other areas, with Barnoldswick and Colne emerging as the best.

3.17 Only 7% said they were uninterested in Festive Decorations and these were equally likely
     to be white (5%) or Asian (7%). Interestingly while 30% of white respondents rated the
     festive decorations as either very good or good, 68% of Asian respondents said so.

3.18 Around half of respondents felt that spending should be kept at the same level, with the
     majority of the remainder believing spending should be reduced (27%) or cut altogether
     (14%).

3.19 Amongst Asian respondents 43% felt that spending should be reduced (compared with
     26% of white respondents) and 29% felt that the Council should not spend money on
     festive decorations (compared with 13% of white respondents).

                                                7
3.20 Similar questions were asked again in an on-line survey during the course of the review
     and the detailed results are shown at Appendix A.
3.21 The link to the questionnaire was e.mailed to almost 500 Council website subscribers and
     was publicised on the website front page and via the local press. 103 responses were
     received.

3.22 It was interesting to compare these results with those of the Citizens’ Panel a few years
     ago. In terms of how the decorations were rated, 57.4% of respondents rated them
     average or better, 42.6 rated them poor or very poor and none indicated no interest. In
     view of the low number of responses from both Brierfield and Earby it is unsafe to make
     conclusions from such a small sample. However, discounting those two areas,
     Barrowford and Barnoldswick were rated highest on this occasion with Nelson rated
     worst.

3.23 We took account of letters to the local newspaper and comments e.mailed by a resident
     of Trawden during the course of the review.

3.24 The vast majority of respondents (88.9%) considered that spending on festive
     decorations should either stay the same (45.5%) or be increased (43.4%). Only 5.1%
     thought that the level of spending should be reduced and 6.1% that no Council money
     should be spent on festive decorations.

Alternative Funding Arrangements

3.25 The Town Centres Officer informed us that there were no external funding opportunities
     for festive decorations.

3.26 We therefore asked him to explore other ways of generating funding such as sponsorship
     by local businesses in exchange for an advertising package.

3.27 Two possibilities were envisaged, i.e. large companies sponsoring decorations in the
     areas in which they are based (or other areas as they see fit) or one main sponsor for all
     of the Borough’s decorations.

3.28 Six businesses were approached during the course of the review in an attempt to assess
     the level of interest in such sponsorship opportunities in return for a benefits package.

3.29 At the time of writing only one business had indicated its interest but this was in respect
     of next financial year.

3.30 However, we believe that if a benefits package were put together, an approach to a wider
     range of businesses would be more likely to meet with success.

3.31 Further sponsorship suggestions which we discussed were church sponsorship for a
     traditional nativity scene in Nelson, and sponsorship by Lite themselves.

3.32 Lite has indicated a willingness to sponsor a decoration.

3.33 So far as smaller town centre businesses are concerned the staging of shop window
     display competitions was suggested as a means of providing wider coverage of
     decorations within the various town centres.

3.34 Cost saving through long term “Partnering contracts” with neighbouring authorities is
     another avenue which might be worth exploring.
                                                8
3.35 Leasing rather than purchasing seems initially attractive as this allows the displays to be
     changed every year but financially it is considerably more costly.

4.     CONCLUSIONS

4.1    Whilst it is clear that the central resources are not allocated equitably on a per capita
       basis, it is acknowledged that this reflects the actual spend as it stood in 1995.

4.2    The Area Committees have since built on that allocation to a lesser or greater degree as
       deemed appropriate.

4.3    Any re-allocation on a purely per capita basis could also be deemed inequitable as the
       number of towns/villages to be decorated should also be a consideration.

4.4    The contributions of parish and town councils are acknowledged and appreciated.

4.5    Brierfield & Reedley Area Committee receives the lowest allocation and its stock is in the
       worst condition which will have further significant financial implications for the future.

4.6    From the comments of Area Committees and those of Parish Council representatives
       attending meetings of the Panel Nelson, Barrowford & Western Parishes and Brierfield &
       Reedley appear to be least happy with their allocations.

4.7    In comparison to our neighbours we spend more than twice as much as the next highest
       spending authority on festive decorations. We believe that this is primarily due to the
       high number of towns and villages we have to decorate across the borough.

4.8    In public opinion surveys there appears to be a higher level of satisfaction (57.4%
       average or better) than dissatisfaction (42.6% poor or worse) in respect of 2006 although
       this has dropped from an approximate 74% positive feedback in 2003.

4.9    There is a considerable public view (43.4%) that spending on festive decorations should
       be increased and whilst we may agree that there is room for improvement in some areas
       it is difficult to justify any further Council spending in the current financial climate.

4.10   Indeed, the sustainability of current high levels of spending is an issue which we feel
       should be addressed.

4.11   The various potential alternative funding arrangements discussed are therefore
       supported.

5.     RECOMMENDATIONS

5.1    Area Committees be asked to note the comments received via the public opinion survey
       and the other suggestions contained within this report in respect of their areas when
       considering the 2007 displays.

5.2    The Town Centres Manager be requested to arrange for Christmas shop window display
       competitions in all town centres in an attempt to supplement current displays.


5.3    That the Executive allocate the budget for festive decorations for 2007/08 across the
       Area Committees on the following basis –
                                                 9
                                  Area                              2007/08
                                                                    Central
                                                                 Allocation (£)
            Barrowford & Western Parishes                           8,320.00
            Brierfield & Reedley                                    6,470.00
            Colne & District                                       18,720.00
            Nelson                                                 18,880.00
            West Craven                                            24,500.00
            TOTAL                                                £76,890.00

      which more closely reflects the electorate served whilst recognising the number of town
      and village centres to be decorated in each Area and the consequences of previous
      levels of investment.

5.4   That a small working group be established comprising relevant Executive Member(s)
      and Members of this Panel to pursue with the Town Centres Officer the work already
      commenced in seeking sponsorship for festive decorations.

5.5   That wherever possible the Executive allocate any sponsorship received between the
      Area Committees on the basis of the electorate.

5.6   In the event that no sponsorship is received during the current financial year that the
      Executive adjust the current budget to accommodate the additional £7,300 allocated in
      5.3 above.

5.7   That the Scrutiny Management Team monitors progress with these recommendations
      and the results of this investment during December, 2007 and January, 2008.




                                                                The Leader and Members of
                                                     The Festive Decorations Scrutiny Panel

                                                                                   March, 2007




                                              10
                                                                                                        APPENDIX A

                                                Analysis of
                                     Festive Decorations Survey 2006/07
Which town centre in Pendle do you visit most frequently?
                                                                                      Frequency       Percent                  Valid Percent
 Valid         Nelson                                                                 43              42.6                     42.6
               Colne                                                                  27              26.7                     26.7
               Brierfield                                                             3               3.0                      3.0
               Barnoldswick                                                           15              14.9                     14.9
               Earby                                                                  4               4.0                      4.0
               Barrowford                                                             9               8.9                      8.9
               Total                                                                  101             100.0                    100.0


                                              Town Visited Most Frequently


             45.0
             40.0
             35.0
             30.0
             25.0
         %




             20.0
             15.0
             10.0
              5.0
              0.0                                                                             Earby
                                              Colne




                                                                                                                Barrowford
                                                          Brierfield




                                                                       Barnoldswick
                            Nelson




How would you rate this year's festive decorations in the Pendle town you most frequently visit
                                                                                      Frequency       Percent                  Valid Percent
 Valid         Very good                                                              10              9.9                      9.9
               Good                                                                   21              20.8                     20.8
               Average                                                                26              25.7                     25.7
               Poor                                                                   26              25.7                     25.7
               Very poor                                                              18              17.8                     17.8
               Total                                                                  101             100.0                    100.0

               All                   Nelson     Colne     Brierfield   Barnoldswick                   Earby                  Barrowford
 Very
               9.9                   2.3        3.7       33.3         33.3                           0.0                    22.2
 good
 Good          20.8                  16.3       22.2      0.0          26.7                           0.0                    44.4
 Average       25.7                  16.3       40.7      66.7         20.0                           25.0                   22.2
 Poor          25.7                  39.5       14.8      0.0          13.3                           75.0                   0.0
 Very
               17.8                  25.6       18.5      0.0          6.7                            0.0                    11.1
 poor




                                                           11
                                     Festive Decoration Ratings by Town


    100%




     80%




     60%                                                                                                            Very poor
                                                                                                                    Poor
                                                                                                                    Average
                                                                                                                    Good
     40%                                                                                                            Very good




     20%




         0%




                                                                                                       Barrowford
                                                   Brierfield
                                       Colne
                            Nelson
                 All




                                                                                              Earby
                                                                        Barnoldswick




Do you feel the level of spending on festive decorations should be...
                                                                                        Frequency     Percent         Valid Percent
 Valid         Increased                                                                43            42.6            43.4
               Stay the same                                                            45            44.6            45.5
               Reduced                                                                  5             5.0             5.1
               No council money should be spent on festive
               decorations                                                              6             5.9             6.1
               Total                                                                    99            98.0            100.0
 Missing       System                                                                   2             2.0
 Total
                                                                                        101           100.0


                 All         Nelson        Colne                Brierfield             Barnoldswick     Earby         Barrowford
 Increased       43.4        50.0          48.1                 33.3                   20.0             50.0          37.5
 Stay the
 same            45.5        38.1          37.0                 66.7                   80.0             50.0          37.5
 Reduced         5.1         7.1           3.7                  0.0                    0.0              0.0           12.5
 No council
 money
 should be
 spent on        6.1         4.8           11.1                 0.0                    0.0              0.0           12.5
 festive
 decorations




                                                        12
                                         Do you feel funding on festive decs should be...


100%
90%
80%                                                                                                          No council money should be spent on
                                                                                                             festive decorations
70%
                                                                                                             Reduced
60%
50%
                                                                                                             Stay the same
40%
30%
                                                                                                             Increased
20%
10%
 0%




                                                                                                Barrowford
                                                Brierfield
                        Nelson



                                 Colne
             All




                                                                                     Earby
                                                                 Barnoldswick




                                            Gender of Respondents

   60.0

   50.0
   40.0

   30.0

   20.0

   10.0

       0.0
                                         Male                                                                Female




                                                             Age of Respondents

 30.0

 25.0

 20.0

 15.0

 10.0

  5.0

  0.0
                   16 - 24       25 - 34                       35 - 44                       45 - 54           55 - 64           65+




                                                                                13
 Festive Decorations Verbatim Comments by Town Visited Most Frequently

Nelson:

Although our decorations are good, we seem to have too much of the bigger
things and less of the smaller ones

BARROWFORD WERE GOOD

Complete & utter joke. If that’s the best they can do I wouldn't bother!

DON'T THINK THAT NELSON SAW A GREAT DEAL OF THE AMOUNT
INVESTED!!!!!!!

Festive decorations may seem a spurious waste of council resource when
considered in the middle of February but doing without them, or reducing
them, would be an economic catastrophe for the shops and businesses within
the local town centres.

I am a resident of Barrowford, but work in Nelson town centre, the standard of
decorations in Nelson were extremely poor and very depressing compared to
the decorations in Barrowford, which looked so bright and cheerful. Even the
Christmas tree in Nelson looked so drab with its few one coloured lights,
come on Nelson do something better this year after all the town centre needs
something to boost its appearance

I feel over the years the decorations in nelson have decreased in their appeal.
I travel around all the country and can say Nelson does not come near the top
when it comes to Christmas and eid spirit.

I have never seen such a sad display

I would like to say that the Eid decoration were brilliant and so were the
Christmas decorations, it is nice for a Muslim to see eid decorations, it make
us feel a part of of the community here in Pendle.

If you spent 142000 pounds on decorations, did Nelson miss out? Or should
you look elsewhere to buy these.

It is for children mainly and they don’t put in to the system

My children said it didn’t feel like Christmas whilst we were shopping in
nelson, very disappointing.

Nelson's were poor, Barrowford was good (thanks to good house keeping by
parish) More should be spent on villages

Seemed to be less noticeable this year.




                                        14
The council should encourage shop keepers to participate, this was done in
other towns and villages in the area, in a bid to attract festive shoppers.
Nelson's decorations this year looked decidedly gloomy in comparison to
other areas.

The lamppost decorations were nice as a preparation for something
welcoming in the Town Centre. However the central area itself was extremely
disappointing! I cannot believe that any of the £142000 was spent on Nelson.
There were less decorations than in previous years and the blue lights on the
Christmas tree were hardly discernible

The lights are boring, they should be more colourful and the decorations on
the lampposts are horrible. Out of town motorist have to go around the centre
and don't see the xmas decs I think a few more coloured lights are called for
on the busy road pass the police station. The small xmas trees that are above
the shops are really nice perhaps some more of these. Lets see more colour!!

The one in the Pendle Rise Shopping Centre was great for the kids. Why do
they cost so much? How do you work out which town gets what amount
spent on decorations?

the ones in nelson were absolutely disgraceful and I feel that more attention
has been paid to the decorations for eid...well I’m white British and Christian
I’m not a bloody minority yet although in nelson I am well on the way to it
which is why I am looking for a property out of the nelson area so fingers
crossed will not be having to look at the worst Christmas display it has been
my misfortune to see in years!!!

The town centre used to look more attractive when the trees had the lights in
them and the rows of coloured lights down Scotland Rd & Market St, perhaps
if you incorporated these along with the decorations used this year it may well
show a huge improvement, rather than the boring theme we had this year
which to me was appalling.

the tree in Nelson centre was a disgrace and to top it all the council bragged
about it saying it was the biggest tree in the county it was big and ugly with
the smallest lights on it that you had to stand next to it to see

their were more decorations for Eid than for Christmas and I felt this very sad,
both holidays festivals are of equal valve to each religion

Try and redirect funding to Christmas decorations and stop wasting money
pandering to ethnic minorities by decorating the town when its Eid etc. I can't
remember seeing any Chinese decorations for the Chinese new year? If you
want to be multi cultural then why not celebrate their festivals? This way more
money will go towards better Christmas decorations for the ethnic majority in
the town.

What decorations? - Its about time political correctness and racism is put to
one side. It would be nice to have decorations like we had in years gone by, -


                                       15
a tree, a nativity scene, Christmas is about the birth of Jesus - how on Earth
can this offend anyone? The Asians get to celebrate Eid so why can't we
celebrate Christmas?

What steps have been taken to obtain better value for the money spent?

Colne:

Colne decorations are not the most tasteful - bit Blackpooly. Why not look at
Skipton and some of the decorations in the small N Yorks towns -strings of
fairy lights rather than the big decorations on lamp posts. The twinkly lights on
the Christmas trees at Market St were good – presume they are cheaper than
the big ones. The star at Winewall is lovely

Colne probably has the largest proportion of Christian residents in the
borough of Pendle and as such should lead the way in respect of it's
Christmas decorations. Barrowford & Barnoldswick's lights were, in my
opinion more tasteful and co-ordinated. One of the main decorations in Colne,
situated at the lay-by just above the Crown Hotel was never illuminated during
the whole of the festive season. The blue, green andlilac tree displays outside
Whitesides/Taylors & Leedams/Brian's jewellers were super. If only all our
town centre could be similarly be-decked.

Did the decorations really need to be put up at the end of October? Surely it
would have saved electricity and maintenance costs if they had been left until
the start of December when the rest of us put our decorations up?

didn't like the blue and silver and white trees in the town, prefer more
traditional decor i.e. red, gold and green Some parts of the town (Colne ) still
feel bare. The large trees in the villages were much better when coloured
lights were restored.

for such a small town like Colne I would have thought it wouldn't have been
that hard to decorate nicely no matter how much, or how little money there is
to spend.

I hope Pendle do not go down the 'non-Christmas' road. By all means help
the Asian community celebrate their festivals but keep Christmas

I think doing away with the nativity scene seemed a let down in Nelson I
realize that it might have upset some of our ethnic community but after all we
are the resident and lived here all are lives they have come here from there
own country if we went to there home land we would be expected to abide by
there religious activity I do not think that they would alter anything for us but I
could be wrong. I think the nativity model was part of Christmas

I would like to see a decent nativity in all the towns in the Pendle area, as a
church going Christian I am offended by the way Pendle council are ignoring
what Christmas is about. Christmas is not about Santa, gifts and Christmas
trees, it's about celebrating the birth of Christ. At this point if Pendle council


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are trying to be P.C they are also offending Muslims as they also believe in
Jesus. I have wrote to Chris Barnes the chief executive about this and the
possibility of a Good Nativity scene in each town for next year but he has not
had the manners or decency to reply. So Please take not and do not ignore
the majority of Pendle people.

It could be slightly increased to make a nice town centre display. I also
thought that the street light decorations were turned on early for xmas, but i
expect you would be criticised if they were turned on nearer to xmas.
Everyone trims up far too early nowadays, and we all seem a bitfed up with it
all by the time xmas actually arrives.

No decorations in Trawden why?

Please do not, in the spirit of political correctness, degenerate into "Happy
Holidays" or similar.

They do say less is more when it comes to decorations. Therefore, better to
spend on some distinctive unusual festive decorations, than too many small
unimaginative ones.

Trawden seems to have had a very small slice of the Christmas tree lights
budget!!

Villages are poorly represented

why did smaller villages /towns such as barrowford and barnoldswick have
more extensive decorations than colne ?? The xmas decorations in the town
were poor by comparison



Barnoldswick:

I think that sponsorship should be sought from large organisations that benefit
from the council

I thought they were generally excellent but do feel that nelson and Colne’s
aren't as good possibly because they have no Parish or Town Council
contributing.

If decorations are going to be put up then let us at least put them up to a
standard that is equally high and of a quality. In other words if a job is worth
doing do it right or not at all. The Christmas trees last year in Barnoldswick
town square were both garish and tacky, they reminded me of something i
can go and look at in that tackiest of towns, Blackpool! I would rather there be
no decorations if Christmas 2006's efforts are our benchmark. Traditional
trees and traditional decor for our little traditional town please, not coloured
light bulbs and neon lights. Regards, Paul and Karen Standrill. Barnoldswick.



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More decorations but this would need policing

The decorations in Barnoldswick were superb this year, a credit to the council.

The trees in Barnoldswick Town square this year were wonderful. After many
years of just having our plastic Santa and snowman, which we grew to love
although very amusing, the look measured up and brought us up to date.

Who took the Christ out of Christmas?

Earby:

Where are the trees?

Where are the trees?     Earby, Sough - no trees - Why?



Barrowford:

Difficult to answer Q3 in isolation to other costs

give the money to pensioners for their electricity?

have the decorations in Barrowford from last trading post to Zios, instead of
from Zios to holmefield.

I thought they looked lovely

Maybe businesses within Pendle could sponsor the decorations??




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