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Christmas tree isn't "man enough for job" in Clacton
8:10am Tuesday 26th November 2013 in News
A CHRISTMAS tree labelled as “laughable” by shoppers in Clacton was axed a day after it was put up.
The 12ft tree was put up as the centrepiece of the town’s festive celebrations, but was lambasted by shoppers and traders for its underwhelming size.
It was given by the north Essex branch of Federation of Small Businesses, but was half the height of last year’s tree, donated by Veolia Environmental Services.
Tendring Council leader Peter Halliday said the tree was “not man enough for the job”
and would be unlikely to survive the coastal weather over the period of a month.
Now traders are being urged to pitch in to pay for a bigger replacement.
Mr Halliday added: “We would be letting our residents and traders down if we did not come up with something more substantial.
“We have a number of events, including the Christmas lights switch-on, late-night shopping and a traditional continental market coming up in the next few weeks. It is important we have a tree which is in keeping with the setting and the standard of events and activities taking place.”
He said every effort will be made to replace the tree as quickly as possible and in time for the festivities.
“There is a huge value to traders in the Christmas economy and if every shop contributed £25 to the cost of a tree, the additional footfall created by the festive atmosphere would pay them back tenfold,” he added.
Town centre trader Pete Serghiou, who runs The Olde Sweet Shop, in Pier Avenue, said: “The council should have the money to get one that is 35ft every year – I pay £300 a week in rates to be here.
“As a trader I would be happy to pay towards the tree if we know there definitely would be a big one going up.”
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