The Harpenden Town Council Mission Statement - To promote the area as a place to live, a place to work, a place to invest and a place to visit
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Update on Southdown Lights Switch On

Update on Southdown Christmas Lights Switch On - Friday 1 December 2017

Following comments and concerns that we have seen on social media, we want to give an update on this very important community event.

The Southdown Christmas Light Switch on event will be held on Friday 1 December 2017 starting at 5.30pm. As ever it promises to be a brilliant family event with many great attractions including carol singing and folk dancing from the English miscellany, children’s fairground rides, shops opening late and a range of Christmas stalls.

The Christmas lights will be switched on by the Town Mayor at 6.00pm. Like last year, we will be lighting up various trees, lamp columns and of course the Christmas tree. Compared to last year, the only difference is that there will be no lights along the shopfronts (for reasons set out below).

We are aware that the Methodist church have decided to not run a carol service inside of their venue partly due to safety but also due to a desire to support the community event going on outside.

The Town Council are working closely with the Methodist church and Southdown traders to put on a great event. We hope that you will join in the fun and attend the event to support those who have put in lots of effort to organise it for the community.

Reason for no lighting along shop frontages

Each year we have to apply for a licence from Ringway (on behalf of Hertfordshire County Council) to allow us to put up festive lighting above pavements and the road. The licence process was changed last year bringing in much more stringent requirements. The Town Council worked hard to meet these requirements last year and were able to produce the fantastic displays across the Town Centre, Southdown and Batford.

As part of our approach to securing the licence we carry out annual checks on various aspects of health and safety. When carrying out these checks this year we identified a problem with the anchor bolts used for the lights above the Southdown shops and with the power supply feeding those lights.

Unfortunately, there was not an appropriate quick and cost-effective solution to the problem that could be implemented in time for this year’s Southdown switch on so we had to take the decision not to include them in the scheme. Their inclusion in the scheme would have meant we would not have got a licence and would have jeopardised being able to have the wider Christmas tree and lamp column displays.

The Town Council will review the scheme next year as always and will include considerations to the lights on shop frontages.

Last updated about 4 years ago