Ottery Xmas lights joy

FESTIVE lights will sparkle in Ottery this December after fears of a yuletide black-out saw generous townsfolk and traders get in the Christmas spirit two months early.

Civic leaders this week said they could now have extra cash to splash- just a month after voicing concerns over whether this year’s town-centre display would happen at all.

December’s �4,000 spectacle will be hired from and erected by a private firm as in previous years. However, the town council and Chamber of Commerce will consider buying Ottery’s lights outright next year.

The council set aside �3,000 for the display and was given a boost by fundraising Tourist Information Centre manager Phyllis Baxter, who asked businesses and residents to boost the coffers.

Mayor Glyn Dobson said every business approached donated cash, and singled out Country Farm Butchers in Broad Street for a huge contribution. Ottery Chamber of Commerce has chipped in more than �1,000.

“We thought there wasn’t going to be a contribution from the chamber and there might not be any Christmas lights,” Cllr Dobson told council colleagues at their full meeting on Monday night following crunch talks last week.

“They can pay their share and we will be having lights in Ottery,” added Mr Dobson, adding: “We could be in a position where we have extra money. We will keep that, and will have talks in January or February over using it on something longstanding. The chamber wants the town to buy its own lights.”

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Fundraiser Phyllis said the town had been “absolutely brilliant” after the Herald revealed Ottery’s lights limbo last month.

She said she’ll continue collecting and all donations are welcome.