City of York Council steps in to help Stonegate’s Christmas illuminations

Council steps in to help street’s Christmas illuminations

Christmas lights in Stonegate, pictured above in a previous year, can go ahead thanks to the council’s £3,500 donation

Adam Sinclair

First published in News by

ONE of York’s most famous shopping streets will not be left in the dark at Christmas after the council stepped in to help fund this year’s festive lights.

The Press revealed last month how a lack of contributions from shops in Stonegate meant there would not be enough money to pay for the hanging and maintenance of the annual illuminations.

However, in a letter to businesses in the area, Mulberry Hall owner Adam Sinclair said the lights can go ahead thanks to a £3,500 donation from City of York Council. The amount will cover half the costs of this year’s lights while traders will each be sent a bill for £99 to meet the rest of the funding.

Mr Sinclair, who is also chairman of Stonegate Traders, said: “It was always going to be 50/50 between the council and the traders, but why should the council pay for all of it?

“Christmas shopping is our life blood. Stonegate and Minster Gates have been a postcard image of Christmas in York so this is very important for the image of the city.”

Mr Sinclair also proposed a meeting in February between traders to discuss the future of the lights in Stonegate.

As the garlands were hung yesterday ahead of a switch on, business owners in Stonegate welcomed the news that the lights were to return.

Tony Brett, owner of the Pyramid Gallery, said: “This is the right result. I’m pleased the council is offering to pay something towards it and I’m quite happy to contribute my share if this has stimulated contributions from others in the street.”

He also welcomed a chance to discuss the future of Christmas lights in the street.

Mark Smith, manager of Ye Olde Starre Inne said the return of the lights was an “excellent thing” because he feared trade could be hit.

“We have always provided electricity for the lights,” he said. “It would have kept people away if they weren’t here this year.”

Comments (28)

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11:14am Thu 22 Nov 12

meme says...

Well done all of them and shame on those retailers who refused to cough up a bit of money
Well done all of them and shame on those retailers who refused to cough up a bit of money meme
  • Score: 0

11:27am Thu 22 Nov 12

Oaklands Resident says...

Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing.

Let the retailers pay.
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay. Oaklands Resident
  • Score: 0

11:38am Thu 22 Nov 12

Stressed Out says...

Nice lights on lamposts in the Station Road, Museum Street areas. I hope we have more to put up. Looked good when I drove to the station this morning, very Blackpool ish!!
Nice lights on lamposts in the Station Road, Museum Street areas. I hope we have more to put up. Looked good when I drove to the station this morning, very Blackpool ish!! Stressed Out
  • Score: 0

11:45am Thu 22 Nov 12

AngryandFrustrated says...

I don't disagree! If the retailers want a nice bright Christmassy street, then they should stick their hands in their pocket. If they don't, then the street should be left in the dark, without Christmas lights, and they would only have themselves to blame.

Either CofYC fund lights throughout the town centre, or don't fund them at all. Personally, I love Christmas, and have my house timmed up as much as poss, but what difference do lights in York make? We hardly have a reputation like Blackpool, so people will come to shop, no matter what. There can be no argument that it generates tourism or additional footfall in the centre.

In times of austerity, and front line services being cut, this falls squarely into the "cut" category and is a waste of money. Stonegate traders, shame on you. If half of the expense amounts to a contribution of £99 per shop, then an additional £99 per trader is hardly breaking the bank. You should hang your heads in shame that money is being wasted because you are too tight to fund the lights yourselves, and shame on the Council for putting up the additional funds.
I don't disagree! If the retailers want a nice bright Christmassy street, then they should stick their hands in their pocket. If they don't, then the street should be left in the dark, without Christmas lights, and they would only have themselves to blame. Either CofYC fund lights throughout the town centre, or don't fund them at all. Personally, I love Christmas, and have my house timmed up as much as poss, but what difference do lights in York make? We hardly have a reputation like Blackpool, so people will come to shop, no matter what. There can be no argument that it generates tourism or additional footfall in the centre. In times of austerity, and front line services being cut, this falls squarely into the "cut" category and is a waste of money. Stonegate traders, shame on you. If half of the expense amounts to a contribution of £99 per shop, then an additional £99 per trader is hardly breaking the bank. You should hang your heads in shame that money is being wasted because you are too tight to fund the lights yourselves, and shame on the Council for putting up the additional funds. AngryandFrustrated
  • Score: 0

11:45am Thu 22 Nov 12

bob the builder says...

If you sent me a bill for £99 I'd send it back with a bill for my time for having to do so! What legal right does CofYC think it's enforcing, sending out bills like some scammer? A nationwaide tax on tourism is local authorities should fund these items, add a levy of £1 on hotel rooms to pay for decorations, street planting and furniture etc.
If you sent me a bill for £99 I'd send it back with a bill for my time for having to do so! What legal right does CofYC think it's enforcing, sending out bills like some scammer? A nationwaide tax on tourism is local authorities should fund these items, add a levy of £1 on hotel rooms to pay for decorations, street planting and furniture etc. bob the builder
  • Score: 0

11:47am Thu 22 Nov 12

AngryandFrustrated says...

For the avoidance of doubt, my posting was meant to quote the Oaklands Resident post!
For the avoidance of doubt, my posting was meant to quote the Oaklands Resident post! AngryandFrustrated
  • Score: 0

12:12pm Thu 22 Nov 12

roskoboskovic says...

sinclair is more than willing to take advantage of the tourist trade in york and started whinging with his spurrious claims about the new monks cross development.if you want ycc and thus york residents to promote stonegate maybe you should give some of your profits back them.go and set up your shop in selby and see how well it does.
sinclair is more than willing to take advantage of the tourist trade in york and started whinging with his spurrious claims about the new monks cross development.if you want ycc and thus york residents to promote stonegate maybe you should give some of your profits back them.go and set up your shop in selby and see how well it does. roskoboskovic
  • Score: 0

12:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

MarkyMarkMark says...

Stressed Out wrote:
Nice lights on lamposts in the Station Road, Museum Street areas. I hope we have more to put up. Looked good when I drove to the station this morning, very Blackpool ish!!
+1 !
Nice to see something in places a bit out of the shops but where I actually go!#
[quote][p][bold]Stressed Out[/bold] wrote: Nice lights on lamposts in the Station Road, Museum Street areas. I hope we have more to put up. Looked good when I drove to the station this morning, very Blackpool ish!![/p][/quote]+1 ! Nice to see something in places a bit out of the shops but where I actually go!# MarkyMarkMark
  • Score: 0

1:14pm Thu 22 Nov 12

York1900 says...

When these traders years a go said they would look after putting up there own Christmas lights and did not want including in the council plans for Christmas lights because they could do it cheaper

But now they want the council to give money because some of them want to make more profit at the cost of rest of the council tax payers

In future the council should levy £20 per month on business in York City centra to cover the cost of Christmas lights this money should be put in a special account only for Christmas lights fund

if the business agree to this then the council will then give a % to cover the cost any shop that sets up in York for the Christmas season would be required to pay £100 in to the Christmas Light fund
When these traders years a go said they would look after putting up there own Christmas lights and did not want including in the council plans for Christmas lights because they could do it cheaper But now they want the council to give money because some of them want to make more profit at the cost of rest of the council tax payers In future the council should levy £20 per month on business in York City centra to cover the cost of Christmas lights this money should be put in a special account only for Christmas lights fund if the business agree to this then the council will then give a % to cover the cost any shop that sets up in York for the Christmas season would be required to pay £100 in to the Christmas Light fund York1900
  • Score: 0

1:47pm Thu 22 Nov 12

magic cat says...

Well I will be boycotting the traders in Stonegate and suggest others do the same. I do not pay my council tax to have it spent on fripperies!
Well I will be boycotting the traders in Stonegate and suggest others do the same. I do not pay my council tax to have it spent on fripperies! magic cat
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Twinkle! says...

This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points...

Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested?

Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway.

Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money!

Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole...

Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished.

You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's.
This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points... Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested? Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway. Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money! Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole... Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished. You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's. Twinkle!
  • Score: 0

2:36pm Thu 22 Nov 12

tobefair says...

An increase in business rates to recoup the money would be a good idea.
An increase in business rates to recoup the money would be a good idea. tobefair
  • Score: 0

2:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

MouseHouse says...

Once again we see capitalists being subsidised by the people. These spongers were not willing to pay yet will be first in the queue to exploit them and bank the takings. The council should be banging on their door in the new year demanding payment.

Very poor decision.
Once again we see capitalists being subsidised by the people. These spongers were not willing to pay yet will be first in the queue to exploit them and bank the takings. The council should be banging on their door in the new year demanding payment. Very poor decision. MouseHouse
  • Score: 0

3:21pm Thu 22 Nov 12

mummymetal says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing.

Let the retailers pay.
But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos mummymetal
  • Score: 0

3:27pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Blimp says...

Forget Stonegate. As from tonight...

Bishyroad lights illuminating marvellous pubs.

Brilliant, love it! More please.
Forget Stonegate. As from tonight... Bishyroad lights illuminating marvellous pubs. Brilliant, love it! More please. Blimp
  • Score: 0

4:15pm Thu 22 Nov 12

elliehick says...

Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug!
Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug! elliehick
  • Score: 0

4:20pm Thu 22 Nov 12

mjr119 says...

Have the council donated this or have us idiots who paid to get in to Vic Reeves' Wonderpoundland contributed heavily?

Equally, if I'm not mistaken, the lights hanging down from the tree in said Wonderland, now appear on the tree at Parliament Street near Marks & Spencer!
Have the council donated this or have us idiots who paid to get in to Vic Reeves' Wonderpoundland contributed heavily? Equally, if I'm not mistaken, the lights hanging down from the tree in said Wonderland, now appear on the tree at Parliament Street near Marks & Spencer! mjr119
  • Score: 0

4:22pm Thu 22 Nov 12

elliehick says...

mummymetal wrote:
Oaklands Resident wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.
But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos
Actually the council didnt put any firework displays on this year, they were privately funded. The fiasco that was Illuminating York in the Museum Gardens was a council epic fail tho.....
[quote][p][bold]mummymetal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos[/p][/quote]Actually the council didnt put any firework displays on this year, they were privately funded. The fiasco that was Illuminating York in the Museum Gardens was a council epic fail tho..... elliehick
  • Score: 0

4:30pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Lucas_of_H says...

elliehick wrote:
Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug!
I said earlier this week that as soon as a story went up on the press site about christmas lights everyone one would be moaning.

Well done to the council for actually putting your hand in your pocket and helping to light one of Yorks most busy tourist filled streets.
[quote][p][bold]elliehick[/bold] wrote: Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug![/p][/quote]I said earlier this week that as soon as a story went up on the press site about christmas lights everyone one would be moaning. Well done to the council for actually putting your hand in your pocket and helping to light one of Yorks most busy tourist filled streets. Lucas_of_H
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Thu 22 Nov 12

bloodaxe says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing.

Let the retailers pay.
Bah, humbug.
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]Bah, humbug. bloodaxe
  • Score: 0

4:34pm Thu 22 Nov 12

elliehick says...

Lucas_of_H wrote:
elliehick wrote: Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug!
I said earlier this week that as soon as a story went up on the press site about christmas lights everyone one would be moaning. Well done to the council for actually putting your hand in your pocket and helping to light one of Yorks most busy tourist filled streets.
here here!! too right Lucas of H!! The council would only have wasted their funding on something that we wouldnt actually see anyway.......any excuse for them to put the council tax up next yr!! oh wait, hang on....they already are!!
[quote][p][bold]Lucas_of_H[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]elliehick[/bold] wrote: Always something for you all to moan about......bah humbug![/p][/quote]I said earlier this week that as soon as a story went up on the press site about christmas lights everyone one would be moaning. Well done to the council for actually putting your hand in your pocket and helping to light one of Yorks most busy tourist filled streets.[/p][/quote]here here!! too right Lucas of H!! The council would only have wasted their funding on something that we wouldnt actually see anyway.......any excuse for them to put the council tax up next yr!! oh wait, hang on....they already are!! elliehick
  • Score: 0

4:35pm Thu 22 Nov 12

bloodaxe says...

Twinkle! wrote:
This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points...

Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested?

Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway.

Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money!

Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole...

Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished.

You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's.
Be grateful. Betty's makes little or no profit and is almost run for the sake of being there. A bit like Starbucks but not, if you get my meaning.
[quote][p][bold]Twinkle![/bold] wrote: This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points... Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested? Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway. Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money! Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole... Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished. You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's.[/p][/quote]Be grateful. Betty's makes little or no profit and is almost run for the sake of being there. A bit like Starbucks but not, if you get my meaning. bloodaxe
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 22 Nov 12

elliehick says...

bloodaxe wrote:
Twinkle! wrote: This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points... Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested? Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway. Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money! Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole... Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished. You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's.
Be grateful. Betty's makes little or no profit and is almost run for the sake of being there. A bit like Starbucks but not, if you get my meaning.
How on earth does Betty's not make any profit? Its over-inflated prices are sky high as it is, and there is always a queue. Dont know what kinda business plan it would need to have to actually make some money then?
[quote][p][bold]bloodaxe[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Twinkle![/bold] wrote: This is all well and good but my mole in the council has raised a couple of good points... Have the bolts that are trusted to hold these decorations in place been properly tested? Also. are the decorations fed from an isolated supply such as the street lights or are they still fed from individual sockets from inside the building? If the latter then this is illegal as it contravenes the rules and regulations for a decoration going over a highway. Sinclair has stamped his feet, spat his dummy out and James Alexander has caved in to this bully boy by shelling out our money! Meanwhile in other breaking news from my mole... Betty's on St Helen's Square have demanded that the icicle lights currently adorning their building (yet to be switched on) have to be removed because they don't want them. No matter that it makes St Helen's Square look unfinished. You just can't win. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Shame on Betty's.[/p][/quote]Be grateful. Betty's makes little or no profit and is almost run for the sake of being there. A bit like Starbucks but not, if you get my meaning.[/p][/quote]How on earth does Betty's not make any profit? Its over-inflated prices are sky high as it is, and there is always a queue. Dont know what kinda business plan it would need to have to actually make some money then? elliehick
  • Score: 0

5:14pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Caecilius says...

MouseHouse wrote:
Once again we see capitalists being subsidised by the people. These spongers were not willing to pay yet will be first in the queue to exploit them and bank the takings. The council should be banging on their door in the new year demanding payment.

Very poor decision.
From my experience of living in York and in Harrogate, that's North Yorkshire in a nutshell. Council tax is spent on things that will generate profit for members of the local Chamber of Commerce but will do little or nothing for the ordinary residents who foot the bill.
[quote][p][bold]MouseHouse[/bold] wrote: Once again we see capitalists being subsidised by the people. These spongers were not willing to pay yet will be first in the queue to exploit them and bank the takings. The council should be banging on their door in the new year demanding payment. Very poor decision.[/p][/quote]From my experience of living in York and in Harrogate, that's North Yorkshire in a nutshell. Council tax is spent on things that will generate profit for members of the local Chamber of Commerce but will do little or nothing for the ordinary residents who foot the bill. Caecilius
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Silver says...

Well it's now a precedent next year it will be funded by us and the year after. So as time goes on our share of this will go up as private businesses realise if they don't pay anyway it'll still be there regardless.
Well done to CYC for not making people accountable for their actions.
Well it's now a precedent next year it will be funded by us and the year after. So as time goes on our share of this will go up as private businesses realise if they don't pay anyway it'll still be there regardless. Well done to CYC for not making people accountable for their actions. Silver
  • Score: 0

9:15pm Thu 22 Nov 12

Mark Brayshaw says...

mummymetal wrote:
Oaklands Resident wrote:
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing.

Let the retailers pay.
But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos
Hey Mummymetal, would you care to elaborate on which two firework fiasco's you are referring to?

There were three major displays in York. I know you can't be referring to Kaboom - just check out the amazing videos on YouTube and the great comments on Facebook. As far as I am aware, the one at York Maze was equally enjoyed by thousands of people so that just leaves one other display that 'ran' into problems.

Maybe you are just guilty of not being able to count, but in any case elliehick is completely correct - all three displays were privately funded. Furthermore there is absolutely no correlation between fireworks and Christmas lights
[quote][p][bold]mummymetal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]But what about the amount spent on two firework night fiascos[/p][/quote]Hey Mummymetal, would you care to elaborate on which two firework fiasco's you are referring to? There were three major displays in York. I know you can't be referring to Kaboom - just check out the amazing videos on YouTube and the great comments on Facebook. As far as I am aware, the one at York Maze was equally enjoyed by thousands of people so that just leaves one other display that 'ran' into problems. Maybe you are just guilty of not being able to count, but in any case elliehick is completely correct - all three displays were privately funded. Furthermore there is absolutely no correlation between fireworks and Christmas lights Mark Brayshaw
  • Score: 0

10:15am Fri 23 Nov 12

m dee says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing.

Let the retailers pay.
Have to agree,good of them to use the taxpayers money to give the national retailers and their shareholders Christmas bonus.
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]Have to agree,good of them to use the taxpayers money to give the national retailers and their shareholders Christmas bonus. m dee
  • Score: 0

1:44pm Fri 23 Nov 12

YorkPatrol says...

Oaklands Resident wrote:
Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.
We don't want any more housing – York is getting a bit overcrowded now and the bypass is a lot busier than it used to be. Anyone without a house should move somewhere where there is some


It’s the council’s responsibility to light up the streets at Christmas! Next you’ll be thinking it’s the retailers reasonability to repair the roads and paths as some of their customers walk/drive on them…
[quote][p][bold]Oaklands Resident[/bold] wrote: Oh great. Now spending more taxpayers money on fairy lights rather than providing more housing. Let the retailers pay.[/p][/quote]We don't want any more housing – York is getting a bit overcrowded now and the bypass is a lot busier than it used to be. Anyone without a house should move somewhere where there is some It’s the council’s responsibility to light up the streets at Christmas! Next you’ll be thinking it’s the retailers reasonability to repair the roads and paths as some of their customers walk/drive on them… YorkPatrol
  • Score: 0

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