ABERYSTWYTH Town Council spent almost £24,000 on Christmas lighting last year, the Cambrian News can reveal.
The festive illuminations bill represents an eight-fold increase on 2015, when the town’s lights were labelled “rubbish”.
After inspecting its accounts for the previous financial year, the Cambrian News has learned that Aberystwyth Town Council spent £23,993.17 on Christmas lights in 2016, including £2,400 on “LED string lights” for the town centre tree.
The accounts show that TME Electrical Contracting Ltd were paid £17,762.17 for “Christmas lights services”, including £1,101.25 for Penparcau’s Christmas tree lights; £2,400 for the North Parade fairy lights; and £52.68 for replacing a damaged plug for the town centre tree.
And in November, the town council paid True Traders Ltd £1,764 for a Christmas lights battery, and MK Illuminations £4,467.41 for Christmas lights.
Cllr Talat Chaudhri said: “The Christmas lights are expensive, yes, but there is a reason for this.
“Practically, it is a specialist, skilled job at which TME have provided proven good service over a number of years.
“It would not be cheaper, from what I understand from our tendering processes in recent years, to choose another company to do this work.
“Moreover, TME are a local Aberystwyth company and therefore the money remains in the Aberystwyth economy rather than going elsewhere, as would happen if we chose an outside company.
“This is a factor, though not the only factor, in our tendering policies."
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