Kenilworth’s mayor has issued a passionate defence of the town’s Christmas lights in Warwick Road after criticism by some residents on social media.
After an anonymous post on the Facebook page ‘Spotted Kenilworth’ claimed the lights and the event in Warwick Road were ‘pathetic’, Kenilworth’s mayor Cllr Richard Davies replied saying people should actually do something rather than ‘sitting around whinging’.
Complaints were about some of the lights not working and the event itself being underwhelming.
When asked if he stood by his comments, Cllr Davies said: “I was angry when I wrote it, but I do. I’m not a politician, I’m just trying to make Kenilworth a little bit better.
“Every year you get the same comments. If you speak to three people in Kenilworth at least two will have different views on the lights.
“But about the people who say ‘it’s the same old lights’ - why don’t they organise something to raise money towards the lights?
“Basically, unless you’ve got the budget of Leamington or Stratford, Warwick Road is too long to have lights all the way down it.
“We’re restricted to having lights on the lamp posts - we can’t drape them over the road because of the uneven height of the buildings.
“It’s not the Blackpool Illuminations, but I think the clock tower looks stunning this year.”
The switch-on, held on Friday November 25, did not feature a tree by the clock tower due to over 200 complaints that the tree last year blocked people’s view of the tower’s lights. The other two trees in Talisman and by St John’s church stayed.
The chairman of the Kenilworth Lights Committee Cllr Richard Hales denied this was done to save money, and said more money had been spent overall this year.
The committee is funded through a combination of fundraising from local businesses and individuals, as well as the district and town councils.
Cllr Hales also said they are hoping to revamp the switch on events next year, and a public meeting will be held at the end of January for people wishing to share their views. The date and venue are to be confirmed.
He added: “We’re going to try and bring the town together next year - we’re not expecting to please everyone but we can’t keep doing the same old thing each year.
“If people don’t like the lights, it’s not a problem, but people should be constructive and tell us what they’d like to see.”
Ideas already suggested include lighting up part of Abbey Fields and combining the two separate switch-ons into one.