Cut-price Christmas on the way for Kirklees as council slashes tree provision for communities across the district

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A cut-back Christmas is on the way for Kirklees as the council will not be providing any trees outside four of the district’s major town centres.

Due to the council’s financial predicament, councillors have been notified that the local authority is no longer able to offer free community Christmas trees or subsidise the costs.

This comes as the council is looking to make a saving of £47m this financial year to balance its books and has frozen all non-essential spending.

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Councillors have been informed that the cost of a tree is £1,100, should they wish to order one through the council. This includes tree placement, lighting, removal and disposal.

The Christmas tree in Dewsbury town centre for last year's festivitiesThe Christmas tree in Dewsbury town centre for last year's festivities
The Christmas tree in Dewsbury town centre for last year's festivities

It is understood this would be funded through each ward’s £20,000 budget or via community groups.

Councillor Gwen Lowe, cabinet member for environment, said: “The council will once again be providing Christmas trees in Huddersfield, Dewsbury, Batley and Cleckheaton to provide festive cheer for residents and businesses.

“In previous years the council has been able to subsidise all community trees, with the remaining cost paid through ward budgets, community groups or ‘friends of’ groups.

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"The council has never offered free trees across the board to communities. It has on occasion been able to provide a handful of free trees dependent on individual agreements with community groups throughout the district.

"Due to the current financial situation though, the council is no longer in a position to subsidise community trees, so costs would have to be met fully by the ward or group.

“We will however continue to support groups who wish to put up trees in their communities with sourcing, delivery, installation, lighting and disposal.”