Local residents complain about size of Christmas tree which cost council £1,450 to plant
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They say that size doesn’t matter, but when it comes to Christmas trees… Well, the bigger, the better, really.
A real Christmas tree may well be a luxury, but you’d never expect to pay close to one-and-a-half grand just to plant one, would you? Certainly not for a small tree, anyway. Never mind the cost of living crisis that UK residents are all facing.
Well, local residents have complained about the size of the Christmas tree which set their council back £1,450, and it’s pretty tiny.
Villagers in Diggle, Greater Manchester hit back at their local authority, Oldham Council, after they planted the area’s first ‘permanent’ Christmas tree which stands at just six feet tall.
After the price was revealed for the project on social media, residents from the parish claimed that those responsible for the decision had been ‘massively ripped off’.
One onlooker said on Facebook: “Wow, massively ripped off there!
“A 6ft tree will cost approx £60 to £100 depending on where you buy from then you add labour costs and you'll be far far less than the £1,450 you've paid.”
Another furious local just wrote: “£1,450 for a tree?!!!!! How???,” while a further resident wrote: “I'm no expert on tree prices, feels 10x over priced.”
Other locals joked that the tree wouldn’t need to be hooked up to mains electricity and would only require a low-watt solar system to keep its lights illuminated.
They said: “Don't need electric hook up, just need solar,” and another joked: “Oh dear, please be aware of scammers.”
Diggle Village Association, who shared the cost of the tree with the local council, claimed the spruce was £200 cheaper than the repair work needed to erect a temporary fir for the season.
They also added that the extortionate charge for their newly planted evergreen had included ‘cost of labour, electricity hook up and lights’.
They said: “The concrete base for the temporary tree is broken, and the cost to fix it was £500 plus £750 for a temporary tree. TOTAL £1,250.
“The cost of the permanent tree was £1,450. This includes the cost of labour, electricity hook up and lights.
But many locals still struggled to see the spruce as value for money and believed the tree could be ten times over budget.
A spokesperson from Diggle Village Association responded to the criticism, saying it would have cost £1,250 to put up a temporary tree this year due to maintenance costs.
They also said the land where the tree was planted late last week was owned by Oldham council so they had to use ‘certified contractors’
“Unfortunately, the land is managed by Oldham Council, so planting our own tree wasn’t an option. We had to use their certified contractors, hence the price.
“We met 50% of this cost along with our local Councillors, who paid the other half."
The association also added that though the tree might not be satisfying the resident's need for an impressive size at the moment, it would ‘continue to grow year after year.’
“We now have our first permanent Christmas tree in our village, something that will continue to grow year after year!"
Local Labour Councillor Hannah Roberts, cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the authority agreed to fund the tree due to sustainability and environmental reasons.
And she also claimed the tree was "the largest recommended" and was taller than 6ft.
She said: “Following discussions between the council and Diggle Village Association (DVA), it was agreed to plant a living Christmas tree as this is a much sustainable option compared to previous years, when disposable trees were on show.
“The tree is the largest recommended – it is more than 6ft high and will get bigger as it grows."
I mean, it'll grow eventually...