Whitwell: Lighting bills leave village in festive darkness

Whitwell residents say they are fed up at being left in the dark this Christmas.

Tuesday, 17th December 2013, 12:53 pm
Whitwell residents Janet Battiste and Andrea Pilgrim are unhappy at the lack of Christmas lights in the village

While surrounding villages like Clowne and Hodthorpe are looking festive, Whitwell remains in the dark, save for a few on the community centre and some in house windows.

But Parish Council chairman Stuart Maiden says it was not by choice, but simply down to them not being able to afford it this year.

“I’ve lived in Whitwell all my life and I’ve never known us not have Christmas lights before, the village is dead,” said resident Janet Battiste.

“Fellow resident Andrea Pilgrim added: “Whitwell is like the village Christmas forgot.”

The residents intially laid the blame at the door of Bolsover District Council, but they said Christmas lighting was the responsibility of the parish council, not them.

This was confirmed by Mr Maiden, who blamed procedures imposed by Derbyshire County Council for the lack of festive lights.

“The county council said we had to get every street light that also held a Christmas light stress-tested,” he said.”

“We also had needed to have an unmetered electricity supply for them and people always forget the cost of installing the lights too.”

“The cost of doing all this, around £70 per light, meant that we simply could not afford the Christmas lights this year as the budget we had set aside for Christmas lights was nowhere near what the final bill was.”