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Festive lights - More details of costs are needed

Sir, – I note from your issue of January 26 that it costs the council £60,000 to provide, maintain, erect and dismantle Midlothian’s Christmas lights.

As far as I could see, Dalkeith’s lights were the ones that have been used for the past few years and I’m sure it was much the same for the other areas. So no great provision costs there.

Maintenance – well, maybe a few bulbs need replacing each year, so a small cost there.

Christmas trees have to be bought each year. I don’t know exactly how many are needed, but £2-3000 should cover that. Maybe there is an opportunity for a sponsorship deal here with e.g Dobbies, Dalkeith Country Park or one of the local estates?

As for erecting and dismantling, the work appears to be done by council employees, who have to be paid anyway. There may be some money spent on plant hire, such as cherrypickers, and some overtime payments, but again not too many excessive costs.

But £60,000? Perhaps the council can provide us with a breakdown of the figures? Even the £31,000 quoted for the previous year seems a bit high to me. – Yours, etc.,

Alan Mason

Glebe Street

Dalkeith

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