Christmas lights’ future assured

THE FUTURE of Montrose’s Christmas lights - admired by many as the finest in any Angus burgh - looks to have been assured as a result of discussion at Thursday’s meeting of the town’s community council in the Academy.

Angus Councillor David May asked the chairman, Peter Davies, what arrangements were being made for the lights under the new community council, having its first full meeting since the election of office-bearers.

Previously fund-raising was done by a community council committee, and matched by Angus Council.

Mr John Dempster, treasurer, said fund-raising would go ahead, and he was aware of individuals who would carry this forward.

Various views were expressed about the structure of a fund-raising committee, and to which body it should be responsible. An example was given of Brechin, where the committee is separate from the community council.

Angus councillor Mark Salmond suggested that the fund-raising committee should come under the umbrella of Montrose Together.

He added that one attraction of that would be that Angus Council would provide secretarial facilities.

But he caused raised eyebrows when he said that one new feature, bought for Murray Street at a cost of £1,800, had not been used and was stored in Forfar.

Mr Salmond also said that a bid for new lighting features did not include Murray Street and was not match-funded, adding that the area covered in each burgh was having to be reduced. A large sum of money would need to be raised each year to erect the lights in Murray Street, as this was not included in current arrangements.

Councillor May emphasised how important it is that a decision be taken soon and a policy be agreed.

Mr Dempster assured the meeting that this would be done.

Treasurer’s report

Mr Dempster told members that the previous funds of £607.43 had been augmented by grants of £870 and £240 from Angus Council, making the total £1,717.43.

He added that the community council’s Christmas lights fund stood at £5,649.77.

It was agreed to pay £50 to the Montrose branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland, for the Remembrance Day wreath, and as a donation.