Published: July 26, 2011
New group formed to save Burnham's Christmas lights from axe

A new group of volunteers was formed last night (Monday) by Burnham-On-Sea's Chamber of Trade to save the town's threatened Christmas lights display from the axe.

Amid concern that a £5,000 funding shortfall will mean the festive illuminations cannot go ahead, the Chamber has set up the special group, pictured, to oversee a fundraising push during the next few months.

The formation of the group - which comprises Chamber Chairman Rhonda Mills plus members Jonathan Walter, Phil Hemming, Ben Metcalfe, Deryk Monaghan, Clive Haines, Nicola Larkman, Mark Newman and Kay Rossiter - comes after a warning was issued by the Chamber last month that the display is in jeopardy due to cut in council grant funding.

During Monday's meeting in The Princess Theatre, the Chamber of Trade's members discussed plans to hold a large fundraising music plus several other ideas.

"I would be hugely disappointed if we can't put on a Christmas display this year, but raising the money is proving a struggle," said Chairman Rhonda Mills.

"I am heartened that the new group has been formed to oversee the lights and I just hope that we get enough support from the town over the next few months."

"With grant funding being cut by the district council this year, we are in a particularly difficult position and need to decide services such as Christmas lights - which cost us £7,000 each year - can go ahead in the same way as previous years," she said.

Sedgemoor District Council used to give grant funding of several thousand pounds to help the display, but gave £1,500 in 2009 and just £750 last year.

Offers of help, whether donations, fundraising ideas or volunteers, are being welcomed by the Chamber.


Official Burnham Chamber of Trade official website



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