September 12, 2019 1.05 pm This story is over 55 months old

Councillors to re-vote on £7.5k Christmas tree due to “new information”

The original decision sparked both economic and environmental concerns

Councillors have called for a re-vote on the decision to spend £7,500 on Louth Christmas tree, saying new information has come to light since the decision was made.

The spend caused much debate in the town after East Lindsey District and Louth Town Councillor Jill Makinson-Sanders said in her newsletter the tree would be imported from China and shipped over to the UK, raising concerns over the environmental impact.

Supporters however said this was not entirely true, with the majority of the tree’s frame made in Britain with British Steel. They also argued the tree would produce lower carbon emissions over a 10 year period.

The decision to buy the tree was approved by a vote of 10-8 at a recent town council meeting.

Now, Councillors Dawn Jackman, Andrew Leonard and Darren Hobson have called in the decision to the next extraordinary meeting of the authority on Tuesday, September 17.

Councillor Leonard told Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Jaines: “I think they made a great mistake on purchasing this tree. Subsequent to the decision new information has been gathered.”

How the tree might look lit up.

According to Councillor Leonard, Louth Town Council has a six month buffer on votes in which time they can be recalled.

“It’s a chance to rescind the decision,” said Councillor Leonard who, along with Councillor Makinson-Sanders, visited the tree’s suppliers prior to the meeting.

“It’s an opportunity for the public and town council to review the situation, and if they choose to vote for it then it’s on their head.”

He said new information included add-on costs previously thought unnecessary, including the hire of machinery to erect the tree, storage and “other minor details that make up a lot of information we weren’t aware of originally.”

Councillor Jackman, who had been absent for the previous vote, had her own concerns including the costs to deal with anti-social behaviour or damage to the tree.

The council has also been contacted by a local tree grower who has provided evidence against the use of the plastics in the tree.

Councillor Leonard said there had been a strong swell of public reaction.

The meeting starts with a public speaking session at 6.45pm.

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