Cash plea over Ottery X-mas lights limbo

A DETERMINED driving force behind Ottery’s Christmas late-night shopping event has asked the town to help ensure this year’s festivities aren’t plunged into yuletide darkness.

With the town in Christmas lights limbo, Tourist Information Centre manager Phyllis Baxter this week launched a fundraising bid and said: “We’re going to have lights by hook or by crook, I shall be out there with a collection bucket if needs be.”

The Herald reported last week how civic leaders fear a festive black-out over concerns the Chamber of Commerce won’t spend anything on this year’s lights display. The town council is considering how best to splash �2,000 it has set aside for the sparkling tradition.

Phyllis has helped organise Ottery’s late-night shopping extravaganza for a decade, but fears for an event without lights.

“The town wouldn’t bother- there would be nothing to see,” she said.

“Late-night shopping has gone from strength to strength. The town looks so attractive with lights, people come from far and wide.

“They always say this is the friendliest town in Devon, so why can’t we pull out all the stops and have our Christmas lights?

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“I hope the town can donate some money.

“Time is running out, I want to see lights, they benefit our community.”

Mayor Glyn Dobson said the town council wants to see Christmas lights come December, and will do anything it can to help. He urged any businesses willing to donate cash to contact Ottery’s Tourist Information Centre.