Banff and Buchan councillors last week agreed new measures for Christmas light funding for groups in Aberdeenshire last week, a move that will see groups only able to access funding for lights from Aberdeenshire Council once every three years.
The Banff and Buchan Area Committee agreed that funding applications received via the Banf and Buchan Area Initiatives Fund and the various Common Good Funds would continue to be accepted and that the following eligibility criteria would apply:
• Groups can apply for new lights only;
• Groups can source 50% of the total cost of the purchase of new lights from the fund to a maximum of £1,500;
• Groups can only access this fund once every three years;
• Support will only be given for displays which use energy efficient technology and focus on town centres or the main village thoroughfares.
As part of the agreement accepted by Banff and Buchan councillors at the area committee, groups will also receive no funding for the repair, maintenance, installation or storage costs of Christmas lights.
“There is considerable pressure on the Council’s street lighting budget as a result of rising energy costs and it is important for the Council to play its part in limiting carbon dioxide emissions. Christmas lighting displays should, therefore, be planned to achieve the maximum effect from the minimum additional electricity consumption. This can be achieved by concentrating displays in settlement centres where they will have the greatest impact and specifying energy efficient LED units,” the report, by the chief executive, Colin Mackenzie, told councillors last week.
The report went on to say that feedback from Fraserburgh and district suggested that the area was not favour of a change to the current policy.