No Christmas lights for Potters Bar
Danny Loo Photography 2017
As many towns prepare to sparkle this Christmas with colourful displays of lights, Potters Bar will be the exception.
Sadly, despite the efforts of county councillor John Graham, there will not be a display of festive lights in Darkes Lane.
In the past few years the lights have been provided by local councillors using money from the county council-led Locality Budget Scheme.
Mr Graham said: “The county council advised this year that the process used in previous years was not sustainable and had to be changed.
“The county council was prepared to assist in funding the lights but needed an independent voluntary association in Potters Bar to lead on the arrangements.
“If such an organisation were to come forward the local councillors could help with funding.”
Back in August, Mr Graham appealed for local organisations to come forward to organise the lights, but sadly there were no volunteers.
He said: “I independently made contact with local associations such as the Potters Bar Society and Potters Bar Rotary who had helped in the past, but all parties approached declined and no new party came forward.
“So without this local support the Christmas lights will not be happening.”
John Godfrey, a member of the Potters Bar Rotary Club, and his wife had previously helped make sure the lights appeared in Darkes Lane over the years.
The grandfather said: “The lights cost £10,000 so me and my wife would have to run around, find the money and sort all of the paperwork. It became too much for us to do.
“That amount of money for some lights is crazy in this day and age. We can’t raise the funds through the Rotary Club because we need to raise money for people who desperately need it such as Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospice.”
Alastair Maclean, honourary treasurer of the Potters Bar Society, said: “I am afraid that the resources of The Potters Bar Society do not extend to providing an annual subsidy of £3,000 never mind enough for the Christmas lights so it was with regret that we felt unable to take over.”
However, the Rotary Club has planned some festive fun including Santa’s tour of the town in his sleigh, entertaining children.
In contrast to Potters Bar, Elstree and Borehamwood Town Council is planning Christmas lights in a number of streets.
Brookmans Park Rotary Club will be turning on lights in Bradmore Green on December 2.
Welwyn Hatfield Council has also organised for the lights to be turned on in both WGC and Hatfield.
Mr Graham added: “It may be too late for lights this year but can something else be done instead?
“Is any shopkeeper prepared to put a display in the window? Or is there somewhere for a Christmas Tree?
“If there is anyone or any organisation prepared to take this on and make it happen then please email me at email@example.com.”