Why South Shields Town Hall has a lonely heart Christmas tree this year

Passersby have been left feeling "opsided after a decades-old Christmas tradition came to an end.

Saturday, 10th December 2016, 3:43 pm
Updated Wednesday, 14th December 2016, 12:37 pm
South Shields Town Hall

Festive funding cuts have felled one of South Shields Town Hall's Christmas trees after years of two festive conifers standing proud outside its main doors.

However, South Tyneside Council chiefs have been quick to point out they are not seeking to be Scrooges but simply robing to fit after being hit with millions of funding cuts handed down by the Government.

The two-tree Town Hall in previous years

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A council spokesman said: “Due to ongoing unprecedented funding cuts from central government, the council has had to review the number, condition and location of festive displays, including Christmas trees, lights and motifs, across the Borough to see where efficiencies could be made.

“As a result, the overall number of Christmas trees across the Borough has been reduced and festive displays deemed beyond repair or costly to repair have had to be removed.

“While we must work within the constraints of our budget, we are confident that this year’s displays will once again create a wonderful festive atmosphere and draw people into our towns and villages."

Celebrations so far have included the now-famous camel parade, as well as the annual Christmas fair at Haven Point.

The two-tree Town Hall in previous years

The military past of our Christmas trees

South Tyneside's Christmas trees are Sitka Spruce from a large forested area of the MoD Firing Ranges at Otterburn.

The council deals with a company that has a licence from the MOD to thin out the wooded areas of the ranges to allow troop movements through the woods when the trees have become too dense.

The trees are not grown specifically as Christmas trees, but are selected from the crop based on their size and shape.