Bexhill Christmas tree to be replaced after residents say 'it looks like a joke'

  • Malcolm Shaw spoke to residents in Bexhill about their thoughts on the tree

A town's Christmas tree that residents say "looks like a joke" will be replaced by one 5ft taller.

The 15ft tree at Devonshire Square in the middle of Bexhill-on-Sea was chosen due to economic cutbacks.

It has yet to be decorated and is noticeably shorter than in recent years, leading to backlash online.

The council says it has listened to residents' comments and has agreed, with suppliers, to install a 20ft tree as soon as possible.

"Last year it was a bit bigger but it’s better to have something than nothing," said one resident. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Resident Andrew Crotty said: "I feel like it’s a joke, the Christmas lights are a joke as well."

Another local said: "It’s very bad. Normally they put up a nice big tree, I don’t know why they are putting up a normal small tree like you’d put in a house."

Other people disagreed and said: "It’s perfectly fine and if there is bad weather there’s less chance of it falling or toppling over."

Mayor of Bexhill, Councillor Lynn Brailsford said: "We thought it, given the economic climate, to get a less extravagant tree.

"When it arrived, the suppliers had to cut off the trunk which made it look very small and there was quite a big backlash on Facebook.

"They’re going to give us a refund on the tree. We hope to do the town the justice it deserves."

Christmas displays in the town would previously attract thousands. Credit: ITV News Meridian

Up to 15,000 people attended previous Christmas displays in the town, organised by Shining Lights.

Former chairman Mick Matthews said: "With the way things are going and the recession kicking in.

"Sometimes it's special to just get out with your family and it does make the start of Christmas special."

The council hopes the new tree will soon be in place and bring more festive cheer.

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