There is a lot of discussion about the ‘state’ of Guiseley’s Christmas Lights – with many thinking they may not be as ‘inspiring as they could be, given what other towns achieve. (Although the animated penguin is a favourite.)
The current light display costs £5,000 and is paid for by local Councillors and Leeds Council.. Last year, 2013, after similar comments about the lights, a gentleman, whose company is involved in light displays, got together with a couple of other local people and offered to help boost the Guiseley display: this was the plan for 2014 improvements.
However, Leeds City Council made it clear that because of insurance, liability and legal responsibilities that the Guiseley display could either be done by them (ie what we have now), or Guiseley would need to have a display done by a contractor. The small Guiseley group decided that the liability and insurance was too much for them to take on. Which was why Leeds City Council have again taken on the light responsibility for 2014
A number of residents though, really want to change things for 2015, and there is a suggestion that a team come together as part of the Neighbourhood Development Forum to organize the lights for next year. In the meantime a meeting is being arranged with the organizers of the Ilkley lights by Stuart Andrew and Cllr Latty to establish what Ilkley does, and how much it costs. Before, Ilkley took over its own lights from Bradford Council, they had exactly the same issues. Burley in Wharfedale also organize their own fund-raising and Christmas Light display.
It has also been suggested that local shops, organizations, churches, could be encouraged to make more of their Christmas displays – as the florists at Town Gate do, and also hairdressers like Cutting Crew – this too would need organizing. At one time the shops on Otley Road had a small tree over the doors.
Enterprising residents could also be encouraged to put on garden displays, perhaps with a Guiseley in Light award.
Lastly, there is the thorny issue of vandalism and working with the Police to discourage it. It is being reported that the blue lights at the Nunroyd Retail Park were destroyed by vandals this year.
If you are interested in being part of next year’s Christmas Light Team, for Guiseley, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org