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News Report Page 12 of 13
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CCTV cameras installed near Southport's Christmas tree as Southport BID urges people to be vigilant

CCTV cameras are being installed near Southport's Christmas tree after it was targeted by vandals on Wednesday, 2 December 2020. The damage has already been repaired and the sparkling festive lights are back on after swift work by contractors Illumidex UK Ltd. The illuminated tree, in the Town Hall Gardens, on Lord Street, and other festive decorations around Southport Town Centre are provided each year by Southport BID. They provide much needed cheer to local families and a feel good factor to help support local businesses.

Southport BID CEO Rachel Fitzgerald said:- "Southport's Christmas tree and the decorations we have throughout the Town Centre are provided by the BID each year, thanks to the contributions through local businesses. We supply them in order to bring some festive cheer to our town for families and to encourage people to come and spend money in town while enjoying their experience. Damaging Southport's decorations is ultimately damaging local businesses, because it means we have to pay for the repairs. Whoever it was who vandalised the Christmas tree knew what they were doing. They arrived with tools and caused as much damage as they could. Thankfully the damage has now been repaired. But we would ask anyone with any information to please call Merseyside Police. We also ask people in the Town Centre to be vigilant and to report any concerns they have either directly with Merseyside Police or through staff at the Remedy cafe in the Town Hall Gardens. Anyone found responsible for causing damage will be prosecuted."

The damage was done yesterday daytime, after vandals used tools to break through metal fencing surrounding the festive attraction before working to vandalise it and cause as much damage as they could. Merseyside Police is investigating the incident. Officers are keen to speak to 2 men, both in hi-vis jackets, who were spotted at the scene. Anyone with any information about the attack is asked to call Merseyside Police on:- 101 or Crimsstoppers anonymously, on:- 080055111.

Christmas Lights 2020 in Formby, Ainsdale and Chruchtown

THE local Christmas lights in the Formby, Ainsdale, Birkdale and Chruchtown area are just what we need, but questions are being asked about Southport Town Centre's lights, as 1 of our reader said:- "Lord Street is a bit lacking its glow this year. But if you are out and about shopping, the displays, especially good in both Formby and Churchtown. They make the area's atmosphere really festive." Another reader commented this week to us that:- "All they need now is now is a sprinkling of snow."

But in Formby, the Village's tradionally Nativity Scene has got some online complaints. The seen is located in the tradionally place, next to the tree and the star has been deliberately positioned on the tree to be above it. To many it looks fantastic, but a few have complained that it is blocking the tree. A local shop keeper, who doesn't want to be quoted told us, that:- "I can't see the problem. This years tree looks amazing and the alignment of its lights and the Nativity below the star is fantastic. The Nativity is the point of Christmas and I can't see why people have complained. To many locals, who have lived and worked hear all our lives, this is tradition and means a lot to us all." But many more comments have been made about the return of the much loved Frosty the Snowman, who is back, yet again outside Formby Pool. In Chruchtown, the remaining local shops have all done an amazing job in making the Village Centre look stunning, as have those in Formby. Also the non-tradional tree in Churchtown is extremely effective to they eye, bit sadly not on camera. It is located located on the Church Town Village Green.  We are visiting Birkdale this week to get some pics of their decorations, so please do let us know if you think we should take a closer look at any section of them...

 We have to say that Ainsdale's Christmas Tree is amazing as well, and as 1 of our Ainsdale residents said:- "It is fantastic to see it back for 2020. We have had huge issues making it a reality over the last few years, but even Covid19 can't stop us from having a tree for Christmas. Well done to all who have helped make it happen again this year!"

If you are out and about this Christmas, please remember to shop local and support the many small businesses, who fund these lights. Without them, Christmas would have a lot less sparkle.  We would love to see you all showing your support for all the businesses who have tried to make Christmas special this year. If you see a shop you like, please take a picture of the window display and Tweet it out using the hash tags:- 'Xmas2020SouthportUK,' 'Xmas2020ChurchtownUK' and 'Xmas2020FormbyUK' also tweet us in to your post @SouthportReport, as we would love to see your tweets as well!


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