Christmas lights switch-on saved: Wiltshire Council's seasonal gift for Marlborough...
On Tuesday (May 29), Marlborough Town Council's Planning Committee heard a rare and really cheering piece of news - the Christmas lights switch-on has been saved.
Wiltshire Council has a policy of giving towns a quota of free parking spaces to support their High Streets' retail traders. However this year they decided to exclude November and December from the scheme.
This change in policy was going to cost the Town Council about £2,300 in charges for the parking spaces that need to be suspended in order to stage the Christmas lights switch-on. That cost was unaffordable and had threatened the viability of the whole event.
At a meeting this month between senior Council officials and Councillor Mervyn Hall and the Town Clerk, the Council agreed to waive those costs. They reasoned that Marlborough is a special case as its High Street doubles as a trunk road - the A4. And in any case a road closure would be in place.
There is still no resolution over the charges for the daily parking spaces needed for the Rotary Christmas tree in the High Street.
After they had heard the result of consultations with the High Street retailers, the committee agreed to use up the Town Council's outstanding allocation of 960 free parking spaces over eight Fridays in September and October.
The High Street has 115 spaces and on each of those Fridays parking in them will be free for shoppers from 10.00am.