Shirley's Christmas lights to shine as normal this year despite funding fears - The Solihull Observer

Shirley's Christmas lights to shine as normal this year despite funding fears

Solihull Editorial 22nd Nov, 2018 Updated: 22nd Nov, 2018   0

SHIRLEY’S Christmas lights will shine as normal this year after fears the ward would be plunged into darkness over the festive period due to the loss of a cherished community organisation.

Solihull council has confirmed the tradition will continue after the Friends of Shirley Park stepped in to organise this year’s lights.

It co-ordinated the project with financial support from businesses in the area after the Shirley Town Team – formerly responsible for the lights – disbanded.

The council gave special thanks to Martin & Co, Shirley Lions, Mailboxes etc., Wadsworth Solicitors, Lioncourt Homes and Sydney Mitchell which it says all contributed to the cost or logistics of installing the lights.

They will be switched on this Sunday, November 25 at 4pm.

Shirley Green councillors Max McLoughlin and Tim Hodgson claim they put pressure on the council to assist after the Shirley Town Team disbanded to make way for the Shirley Shadow Business Improvement District (BID) Board.

The BID failed after difficulties emerged trying to lobby all businesses to accept a levy for additional services and activities to improve the area.

The scheme was eventually rejected by businesses in a vote.

Coun Hodgson said: “I’m delighted that once again Shirley is being brightened up with a wonderful display of lights this Christmas. “I’d like to pay particular tribute to the Friends of Shirley Park who have worked so hard to get the lights sorted this year.

“I also acknowledge the funding and logistical support provided by local businesses, groups and Solihull council.

“As Shirley councillors, we will be asking the council to assist in securing long term provision of the lights so we aren’t left in an uncertain position again going forward.”

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