Deck the Town Hall …

This Johnson Street resident created a spectacular lights display last December, this year Council will get into the spirit.
This Johnson Street resident created a spectacular lights display last December, this year Council will get into the spirit.

The Christmas lights will be going up in Victoria Park after a Council resolution to create a Christmas fund.

Council Manager Community Development Nina Hooper gave a report to last Thursday’s meeting, suggesting Council draw $61,000 from savings made in other areas of the budget to fund Christmas decorations including a 6m tall tree for the Council balcony and lights for Victoria Park.

They’re also planning on decorations for the two roundabouts in Lachlan Street.

She described it as similar to what Parkes had done with the Sparkles campaign.

“It is being proposed that Council will partner with the Forbes Business Chamber to rekindle and refresh Christmas festivities … attracting visitors and thereby providing economic benefits to the business community,” the report said.

“The Business Chamber are working with businesses in the town centre, that is Templar, Rankin and Lachlan streets, to source decorations and / or merchandising materials with a consistent theme which will provide a greater visual impact to shoppers and visitors.

“These decorations are either going to be purchased through a local business or are to be manufactured locally, ensuring financial benefits stay local and promoting community involvement.”

A Christmas tree for the Town Hall balcony is on the shopping list.

A Christmas tree for the Town Hall balcony is on the shopping list.

Councillors initially expressed concerned about the budget for the decorations and asked why they hadn’t heard anything about the proposal earlier.

Cr Chris Roylance said the Business Chamber had been talking about it for 12 months, after “five years of nothing” in terms of Christmas decorations, but he hadn’t heard a dollar figure.

“That’s a lot of Santa Clauses,” he commented.

Cr Jenny Webb suggested choosing one project to get started – either the tree or the lights.

“I think it’s a lot of money,” she said.

Ms Hooper said the decorations would be expected to last about 10 years – about a $6000 expenditure per year.

“I think if you’re going to have a spectacular, make it spectacular,” Cr Phyllis Miller said.

“I believe this is going to be special and I’m very, very excited.”

Councillors did ask why they had not heard anything about the proposal before the agenda for the Council meeting came out and suggested the Economic Development Committee be included in planning.

“Let us see how it came about so ideas can be floated before we get to this point,” Cr Phyllis Miller said.