Dim view

PUBLISHED: 16:18 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 13:46 06 May 2010

SIR, — Re your story headlined Row over cost of Christmas lights (Herts Advertiser, November 27). In a time when hard-pressed retailers are being urged to kick-start the ailing economy, one would believe that support for these businesses would be on top

SIR, - Re your story headlined "Row over cost of Christmas lights" (Herts Advertiser, November 27).

In a time when hard-pressed retailers are being urged to kick-start the ailing economy, one would believe that support for these businesses would be on top of the agenda of district councils up and down the land.

However, part of the very fabric of a vibrant town at Christmas has been left as an after-thought by a sleight-of-hand appropriation of funds leaving outlying districts with little or no Christmas lighting.

Station Road in Harpenden has been a casualty of this practice. Once festooned with strings of lights over each shop up to the junction of Victoria Street, due to changes in the introduction of a code of practice governing electrical standards along with the rising costs of installation, the road is left with a rather "understated" display across the street in two places.

Faced with the prospect of this lack-lustre display, I, along with other retailers in Station Road, approached Harpenden Town Council with a view to funding the missing strings of lights - that was until the extent of the funding bias towards St Albans city centre was uncovered. Upon discovery of the method and value of funding, Harpenden Town Council approached the district council for additional capital support, none of which has been forthcoming.

I fully support Cllr Mike Wakely and the Harpenden Town Clerk for pursuing this matter with the district, and hope that Harpenden and the surrounding villages receive appropriate capital funding to bring the festive spirit back to the hearts of their communities.

PAUL MARSDEN,

CEO, Harpenden Building Society,

Station Road, Harpenden.

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