Sparkle still there as council spend £213k

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Wakefield did not lose its sparkle this Christmas despite economic cuts, as the council increased spending on festive decorations.

In 2015 Wakefield Council spent £138,000 but this year the estimated cost is £213,000, a Freedom of Information request has revealed.

This included £30,000 sponsorship for new lights over a three-year deal and around £30,000 to maintain good health and safety standards across the Christmas lights stock.

Sarah Pearson, service director for economic growth and housing at Wakefield Council, said the Christmas lights in the district were enjoyed by hundreds of residents and visitors and they supported businesses in city and town centres.

She added: “We needed to invest in a new electrical infrastructure to support the Christmas lights.

“The majority of the Christmas light features in Pontefract were over 10 years old and unrepairable - so this year we started to replace the lights through a new private sector sponsorship with Haribo to reduce costs in future years.

“We’ve had great feedback on the lights from residents and businesses.”

TV football presenter Chris Kamara delighted fans when he turned on Wakefield’s lights this year.