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Britain faces a colourless Christmas as citizens, companies and councils cancel fairy lights to combat the cost of living crisis.
Millions of families plan to leave their lights in the box to save cash as electricity bills rocket.
Lavish outdoor better-thy-neighbour displays traditionally seen in villages, towns and cities across the nation face the axe.
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Businesses – which are not even protected by soaring energy bill price caps – cannot afford to leave on elaborate decorations.
While councils across the country are scrapping Christmas street displays and festive switch-ons.
One frustrated reveller summed up the prospect of tucking into turkey in the dark, tweeting: “So, that’s Christmas f * .
“Will we be able to afford putting up Christmas lights? No?
“The lights are my favourite part. Don’t come for Christmas capitalists. I beg.’’
Another said: “Not bothering with a Christmas tree – can’t afford to turn the lights on. Dark days.’’
“No Christmas lights for me this year then #EnergyPriceCap,’’ said one more.
One joker posted an entirely black photo adding: “This is a picture of the UK at night this Christmas as no-one can afford the electricity bills.
“So they’ll be no Christmas lights (except maybe those living in Chequers) #EnergyCrisis #ToryCostOfLivingCrisis.’’
The picturesque Devon beach resort of Budleigh Salterton (corr) looks set to lose its lights due to increased costs.
The Chamber of Commerce used to organise the Christmas display supported by a town council grant.
But chamber chairman Helen Warren has written to the local authority saying: “We no longer feel able to take on the sole responsibility and costs of supporting the Christmas Lights which have escalated year on year.
“This has resulted in the Chamber of Commerce becoming less and less focused on their legitimate role of supporting local businesses and more concerned with making enough money to support the Christmas Lights.
“As a result many businesses question the value of joining the Chamber of Commerce and in difficult economic times post lockdowns during the pandemic we have struggled to maintain and recruit our membership.’’
She called for a steering committee to be set up to try and save the light show but the council voted against the move.
Town clerk Jo Vanstone said the council could not take on the cost of the lights in the current economic climate.
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Meanwhile Guildford Borough Council has cancelled the Surrey town’s annual Christmas light switch-on saying it cannot `afford or justify’ the money.
One angry local tweeted the move was `depriving the town’s businesses of much needed income’, adding: “No interest in local businesses.’’
City councillors in Ely, Cambs, scrapped its Christmas light switch-on months ago due to soaring costs.
They ruled the £9,000 bill did not provide `best value’ to taxpayers.
Bosses of one IT firm said they will leave the fairy lights off at their Christmas party.
”Think everyone should be grateful we can afford a tree,’’ wrote one. "Maybe we can burn it later to heat the office.’’
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