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Last ditch attempt to reinstall Weymouth fairy lights is 'dead and buried'
A LAST ditch attempt to reinstall the fairy lights on Weymouth seafront is ‘dead and buried’.
Weymouth and Portland Borough Council made a final decision not to change the controversial laser lights along The Esplanade, which replaced the strings of bulbs in May as part of the seafront rejuvenation scheme.
Members of the management committee voted against a 1,700 signature petition calling to reinstate the old lights at a meeting on Tuesday, October 2.
Campaigner Dave Burchill said it meant the end of the line for his fight to bring back the fairy lights.
Speaking after the meeting he said: “I’m disappointed at how it went, I thought the report was really biased.
“The thing that disappoints me most is the lack of transparency or democracy in it all.”
Mr Burchill, a retired postmaster who lives in the Park District, added: “I would have hoped the council wouldn’t ignore so many people but they don’t listen to the electorate.
“Thanks to the thousands of people who signed the petition and I hope some time in the future it might change but for now it’s dead and buried.”
Many committee members said changing the seafront lighting scheme a second time would result in a ‘mish-mash’ of different designs.
The report recommending not to reinstate them said the introduction of further and different lighting would be ‘visually confusing’ and lead to more posts being put up to the ‘detriment’ of seafront improvements.
Councillor Ian Bruce said there is no support from council officers to bring them back.
He said: “To have the fairy lights back would be a mish-mash and I support the recommendation.”
The estimated cost of the proposal would have been £156,500 plus £3,000 annual running costs.
Councillor Christine James said the council does not have the money to spend.
She said: “I don’t want us to spend money we don’t have to bring them back.
“The seafront has been done to death and I think it looks nice, why can’t we look at another part of town now, like the harbour or Commercial Road.”
The report also said the fairy lights were on for 18 weeks a year, had rising running costs, were in poor condition and were vandalised regularly.
Councillor Kate Wheller said they were in need of replacement.
She said: “They had plimsolls hanging off them and wires hanging out and one in three bulbs were off.
“Adding on bits when you have made a design never works, it would be a mish-mash.”