Kenilworth residents invited to have their say on town's Christmas lights

Kenilworth residents with views on how the town's Christmas lights in Warwick Road and High Street can improve have been invited to a public meeting to share their ideas.

Thursday, 22nd December 2016, 3:59 pm
Updated Thursday, 29th December 2016, 3:29 pm
The lights on Kenilworth's clock tower this year

The meeting, organised by the Kenilworth Lights Committee, will be held on Wednesday January 25 from 6pm at the Holiday Inn in Smalley Place. It is expected to last around two hours.

Chairman of the committee Richard Hales said: “This meeting is a chance for people to have their say on the lights and to air their grievances - I haven’t got a problem with people having negative views because that’s what we learn from.

“We’re not going to fix the problems in one meeting, but it will give us a mandate for what the people of Kenilworth want from the lights.”

The committee aim to completely revamp the lights next year, drawing a line under what has gone before.

Ideas already mooted include combining the two separate switch-on events into one, and the possibility of having lights in Abbey Fields as well, although these are just suggestions.

Cllr Hales added: “We’re going to try and bring the town together next year - we’re not expecting to please everyone but we can’t keep doing the same old thing each year.

“It could be a three-year project, we could do one thing one year, then something different the year after, and so on.

“We don’t want to dictate to people - we’d rather let people tell us what they’d like.”

Once the meeting is over and suggestions have been made, the lights committee will look at what options are the most viable and come up with a new plan for 2017.

Cllr Hales estimated this process should not take much longer than eight weeks.

This year’s lights generated heated debate on social media, with several people unhappy at the lack of a tree by the clock tower, some of the lights not working and the switch-on events being lacklustre in their opinion.

The reason given by the lights committee for the lack of a tree by the clock tower was because of more than 200 complaints that it blocked the view of the tower’s lights.

But when one attendee branded the lights as ‘pathetic’ on Facebook, Kenilworth’s mayor Cllr Richard Davies responded, claiming if people want the lights to get better they should try and raise some money instead of ‘sitting around whinging’.

Cllr Davies said he stood by his comments at the time, although he admitted he was angry when he made them.

Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting. Tea and coffee will be served.