Assembly member praises Port Talbot Chamber of Trade for Christmas campaign
REGIONAL AM Byron Davies has praised Port Talbot Chamber of Trade for its successful campaign to bring back a two-day event to launch Christmas festivities in the town.
Neath Port Talbot Council has agreed to have the town's lights switch-on and Santa parade over two days instead of one.
It followed discussions between the newly formed chamber and council bosses.
Mr Davies said: "I welcome the news that Neath Port Talbot Council has agreed to revert back to the arrangements to hold a separate switching-on of the lights ceremony and a Father Christmas parade the next day.
"These had stood the test of time and give traders the maximum boost to business.
"Christmas is a crucial time of year for all shops, large and small.
"I am pleased that the council has listened to what traders and residents were saying. I wrote to them myself urging them to reinstate the original proceedings and it is good news that they have backed down in the face of concerted opposition."
Last year the Christmas festivities in Port Talbot were held on the same day for the first time.
This year it had been planned to hold the lights switch-on and parade within a few hours on the Friday evening, to the horror of traders.
It was at a meeting last week that members of the chamber were informed of the good news.
Chamber vice-president, Steve Redmore, who is the manager of Aberafan Shopping Centre, said there was a cost involved.
"When we met them the second time there was a total turnaround and I believe it was because of the chamber," he said.
"I went from the Aberafan Shopping Centre approach and asked them for a breakdown of the figures.
"They came back and said the bill was £1,300 so we agreed to pay. It is a small price to pay."
Mr Davies added that the chamber has proved its strength.
"The chamber of trade has already proved how valuable it is in giving traders a unified voice and providing a platform they can use for lobbying for the town," he said.