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Christmas lights pledge for York streets
THE main shopping streets of York will not be left in the dark this Christmas despite fears that Stonegate will be without illuminations over the festive season.
City of York Council has confirmed work has already begun hanging decorations and putting up trees in the city centre, while other streets are also preparing for a November switch-on.
Deb O’Donnell, centre manager of the Coppergate Centre, said: “I can confirm that the Coppergate Centre Christmas lights will be installed next week and we will be holding a Christmas lights switch-on event on Thursday, November 22.
“The lights switch-on will launch the start of late-night shopping at Coppergate and will be a free, fun family event with live music and entertainment, competitions and give-aways. Over the next few weeks, we are also hoping to announce some celebrities who will be switching on the lights.”
The assurances come after The Press revealed that Stonegate would be without its usual illuminated garlands because a number of businesses on the street had failed to contribute to the annual upkeep of the lights, as agreed.
However, some businesses on Stonegate are angry at the loss.
Sophie Dawson, manager of fashion store Jigsaw, said that the majority of shops did pay. “You can’t have Christmas without the lights,” she said.
“I think it brings people in. If we can’t compete against the rest of York, it’s going to be bad. I would ask traders who haven’t contributed to do so and I would ask the council to contribute. We definitely want them this year.”
Yesterday, City of York Council said a number of streets, including Stonegate, had decided to opt out of the council illuminations in 2008 to organise their own lights.
Charlie Croft, the council’s assistant director for communities, culture and public realm, said: “We are open to discussions with local traders and businesses on how they might resolve this matter, so that York’s city centre is a spectacular experience for residents and visitors alike.”