Scottish town still has Christmas decorations up 49 days later

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It's the 49th day of Christmas and one Scottish town is still sporting the festive look.

The Christmas lights in High Street, Montrose, continue to sparkle.

Montrose still has Christmas decorations up in the town 49 days after the festive event   picture: JPI Media and Google Maps

Montrose still has Christmas decorations up in the town 49 days after the festive event picture: JPI Media and Google Maps

Almost 50 days after Christmas, members of the community are confused as to whose responsibility it is to take them down.

Residents are concerned about how long the decorations have been up and have taken to social media to say Montrose will become "the joke of the country" if the festive decor is not removed.

While Angus Council has denied responsibility for the decorations, local community groups have also said it is not their job to take them down.

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A spokeswoman from charity group Santa Claus in Montrose posted online: "Just to be clear, our group are ONLY responsible for the "tree" and the lights that go on it. These were switched off and taken down on Sunday 5th January, as per the form we submitted to Angus Council in November 2019.

"While we would like to see the lights in the High Street & Murray Street switched off and taken down, this has nothing to do with us.

"In 2017 our group Santa Claus in Montrose, offered to take on the responsibility, however our offer was declined."

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Yet an Angus Council spokeswoman also claimed it was not the council's duty to remove the lights.

She said: “Festive lighting displays are organised and delivered by the communities across Angus.

"The council is no longer directly involved in the putting up and in this case removal of the lights. However, having discussed at the recent Community Council meeting, Angus Council is seeking to ensure that the lights are removed.”

The lights are still in place after a disagreement between the Montrose community council and Rix Shipping, a local company, it has been reported.

Rix has been responsible for installing and removing the lights free of charge in recent years.

Mark Cessford, the general manager, said he was not to take down the lights this festive season because “alternative arrangements” had been made.

He said it was clear the instruction given originally was "perhaps misguided" and that his his team would take the lights down at some point this week as nobody else had come forward to do so.

He and his company still plan to be involved in the displays in the future.

Montrose Community Council leader Charlotte May however said safety concerns were the reason behind the fall out.

She told The Courier: “We asked him to keep the lights up when he threatened to take them down before Christmas.”

She said she then found out Angus Council rules meant the same company that installed the lights were obliged to remove them.

“Had Mark not been able to, we would have sorted it.

“When the lights went up the majority of them did not work and we were trying to find out why. There were broken sockets and bulbs missing.

“The emails we received in response were not very nice at all,” she added.

She said the community council is now looking for another voluntary or charity group to take full responsibility for the lights display.

“If nobody takes this on then there won’t be any lights."