Neath Port Talbot councils in talks to brighten up festive season
COUNCIL bosses are reaching out to two town councils to see if they can help make Christmas a brighter one.
Bosses at Neath Port Talbot Council are proposing to cut back on Christmas lighting this year in an attempt to save £15,000.
Plans could also be in the pipeline to withdraw festive lighting altogether in 2014 due to the "impending severe constraints on public service expenditure".
Head of streetcare, Mike Roberts, said the proposed cuts were a result of them trying to balance the books after councillors overturned proposals last November to scrap free Christmas parking.
"When proposals are taken out things must be there to replace them," he said, presenting a report to members of the environment and highways cabinet scrutiny committee. The forward financial plan was agreed by cabinet in May which including a saving of £15,000 in relation to the provision of festive lighting for 2013/2014."
He said the savings from the Christmas lights were an implication of a budget reduction from £88,000 to £73,000.
Resolven councillor Des Davies asked Mr Roberts if Neath Town Council and Pontardawe Town Council had been approached to see if they could pick up the shortfall in funding.
Mr Roberts said they had received a letter from Pontardawe and were in dialogue with Neath Town Council. Mr Davies added: "I do have concerns about the Christmas lights at The Parade in Neath There are three hotels there that may be doing Christmas breaks."
Port Talbot councillor Saifur Rahaman asked if the Port Talbot Chamber of Trade had been contacted.
Mr Roberts said: "Yes we have been to the three chambers but we have not had a formal response from the Port Talbot Chamber of Trade."
The cut backs mean in Port Talbot there will be no decorations at Forge Road and only a decorated tree at the civic square.
At Windsor Road in Neath there will be no overhead road crossings including the Welcome to Neath decoration.