Seven trees proposal to end ‘a lot of hurt’

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Civic Christmas trees will be returned to all seven of the borough’s electoral districts this year, the council has confirmed.

Last year, the local authority dramatically cut the number of its festive trees across Antrim and Newtownabbey from 22 to four to reduce costs.

The decision was strongly criticised by residents of Crumlin and was branded “blatant discrimination”.

On Monday night, Antrim and Newtownabbey Council voted in favour of Christmas tree switch on events at seven locations across the borough, including Crumlin.

A spokesperson said: “Following feedback received from our residents, in addition to the four celebration events that took place last year in Antrim, Ballyclare, Glengormley and Randalstown, switch on events are also planned for Crumlin, Mossley and Rathcoole.”

Funding will also be made available to groups within the borough who wish to provide their own trees.

Commenting on the decision, Alliance Councillor Billy Webb, who opposed the original decision, said: “It’s a good solution. Each of the seven DEAs will have a Christmas tree. He noted that “a lot of hurt” had been caused in Crumlin.

“This resolution should make people more content. We are also asking staff to bring back a report to look at the feasability for reinstating Christmas lights.”

Mr Webb went on that say that while there is still a budget for the overall Christmas celebrations, there are grants available to local groups.

Ald. Philip Brett, who proposed the original reduction in 2017, said: “I am happy that each DEA will receive a Christmas tree each.”