War of word breaks out between council and arts group over Buxton’s ‘embarrassing’ Christmas lights

Buxton's Spring Gardens at Christmastime. Picture by Jane Kerford-Cheese.
Buxton's Spring Gardens at Christmastime. Picture by Jane Kerford-Cheese.

A war of words has broken out between council chiefs and a community arts group over Buxton’s “embarrassing” Christmas lights.

Residents say the decorations lack festive cheer – unlike in other nearby towns – and aren’t attracting shoppers to Buxton over the key Christmas period.

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A borough council spokesman told the Advertiser: “We do not provide the Christmas lights.

“They are provided by Sparkles, a group of volunteers, who have worked to raise the funds for the lights.

“The group also takes part in outreach work with schools and organises other activities, such as lantern making, and the council is grateful for their hard work and continuing commitment to the town.”

However, Sparkles insists it is the council’s job – not theirs – to provide the lights.

A Sparkles spokesman said: “The only lights provided by us are those in the Pavilion Gardens – around the cafe and on the bandstand.

“Our community group worked hard to raise funds for them some years ago as we were so disappointed at the lack of lights.

“The lights and large trees throughout the town are put up and taken down by the borough council.

“Most of the lights are the same ones they have used for years.

“We feel everyone should pull together – the borough council, the traders and locals – to brighten up the town.

“It is pretty poor compared to other towns in the area.”