Rally around the Christmas tree

Bilston residents turn out to decorate the tree
Bilston residents turn out to decorate the tree

Bilston residents have taken matters into their own hands after being left disappointed by the “pathetic” Christmas tree erected in the village.

Locals took to social media to express their anger at the council regarding the lack of decorations on the “poor excuse for a Christmas tree”.

Children hang baubles on the tree.

Children hang baubles on the tree.

Midlothian Council blamed vandalism last year for the lack of lights on the tree.

Local resident Jane Tierney told the Advertiser: “They have now made an attempt to add another string of lights but it’s still pathetic. Everybody is up in arms about the tree. It’s an insult.

“The council would be as well not putting it up. People are passing by on buses laughing and taking photos. We have got nothing but that tree, no lights in the streets or anything, just the tree at the edge of the village, and I think it should be in the centre.”

Despite their disappointment the local community is coming together to improve the drab tree. Jane added: “Everybody is planning to put baubles and tinsel on it to make it better for the kids. We shouldn’t have to do that.

The tree before locals spruced it up.

The tree before locals spruced it up.

“We were that embarrassed about it so we added some stuff at the weekend, though it is still not great. If people want they are welcome to add more to it. It’s been pathetic every year, but this year takes the biscuit. Our kids deserve better. The council goes to the bother of erecting a beautiful tree and then just throw a string of lights on it.”

A council spokesman said: “Each community has its own lights, for which they are responsible and the council assists by putting them up.

“The Christmas tree lights were installed last year but some of these were vandalised and had to be written off.

“The community did not get in contact with the council regards either replacing the lights or indeed, adding more decorations. The remainder of the lights were installed, which resulted in a sparsely decorated tree. The issue was highlighted on December 4 and on December 5 we ‘borrowed’ lights from other communities’ stock.

“We are pleased residents have found a solution adding decorations, especially in the current financial climate.”