No festive cheer for lights

Community councillors in Newton Stewart have reached the conclusion that they cannot rely on volunteer support to enable the town’s annual Christmas lights display and will instead have to pay local tradesmen to help get them up and down.

Bob Boan, who has taken charge of the display over the past few years, appealed for help last year as he approached his 70th birthday, but a minimal level of support came forward.

He said at a meeting of Cree Valley Community Council on Monday that he was fed up having to ask friends to lend a hand. It was agreed instead to pay tradesmen to help with the job. It was also explained that to pay for Dumfries and Galloway Council staff to do the job would cost over £3,000 plus £1,000 to put up the Christmas tree and extra to take it all down.

Bob said: “I can’t blame people for not wanting to do it if they don’t get paid, but it’s a young man’s job that I can’t keep doing.”