Businesses who teamed up to make sure Herne Bay was lit up for Christmas received a festive boost from the town’s Conservative councillors.
An application for funding to support the work of Our Herne Bay, a community group set up to rally shop owners and residents, was unanimously agreed by the councillors at a meeting of Herne Bay Area Member Panel.
It was proposed by panel chairman Andrew Cook after a request from Herne and Broomfield councillor Robert Jones, and a total of £2,500 was granted to the group.
Cllr Cook, who represents Heron ward and is also a county councillor for Herne Bay East, said: “We were delighted to be able to support the team behind Our Herne Bay in their extended plan of covering the town with festive lights over the next few years.
“It is very encouraging that there has been such a good response from businesses and that many have taken ownership of lights for their own shopfronts organised through the group to give them a uniform and stylish appearance.
“Volunteers have worked incredibly hard to make sure the lights are affordable and sustainable and we all congratulated them on their efforts.”
The money will be used to pay for small, self-lit, Christmas trees to be displayed around the town. Other decorations include two large Christmas trees and a memory tree decorated with angels commemorating residents’ loved ones who have died.
The lights were officially switched on at an event on Friday, December 1, featuring music and entertainment.
Our Herne Bay chairman Tony Symons, who runs Rogers Menswear in the town, said: “Businesses have really responded well to our requests for help, particularly once we were able to get the first sets of lights up in William Street, where my shop is.
“Once people saw the effect of having the same lights on every shop we had a lot more requests and we have had to purchase additional lights to keep up with demand.
“The response from the community to our fundraising has also been fantastic and we are immensely grateful to everyone who has helped.”
The grant was supported by the town’s Conservative city councillors, while Conservative county councillors for Herne Bay have also donated £4,400 from their member grant funds.
Ukip’s representatives David Hirst and Geoff Wimble did not turn up to the meeting.
Any business who would like more information on getting involved with Our Herne Bay and its work should contact Nikki Casey at firstname.lastname@example.org