Some 15 years ago, we started putting Christmas Lights on our houses for our enjoyment and that of our families.
Over the last couple of years our enjoyment has lessened as we have been subjected to an increasing level of criticism. We have read with interest the recent misreporting of issues and would like to take this opportunity to clarify our position and decision for this year, 2015.
Verges – £10,000? £2,000?
As far as we witnessed the actual repairs consisted of two men, a lorry, some turf and three hours work.
It should be noted that the residents of Greyhound Close had a company standing by in January to supply all necessary equipment to effect repairs but were advised by the Council that this was not allowed as we were not insured, and our offer of support was declined.
We have been advised by the Police, with the Council also aware, that members of the public are NOT allowed to marshal unless they have a recognised qualification. Some residents had expressed a wish to marshal but this was obviously something we could not do.
There never was a committee, never an organiser and everyone did what they wanted, how they wanted and when they wanted – it was not an organised event. We are residents choosing to put Xmas lights on our own houses.
Meetings with the councillors
We have been criticised for our unwillingness to meet with the council, by the council. Prior to 2014, we had never been approached. However, towards the end of 2014 and during 2015 we have been in continuous dialogue with both the council and the police, to put together a traffic management plan to ease congestion.
Early on, the traffic management plan cost was £1,500 which we were more than happy with. Rather than take monies from the charity we indicated our willingness to look for sponsorship. Then it took a turn.
Following the involvement of a new councillor during 2015, this plan escalated to a mind blowing £19,500 which the residents found unacceptable. It should be strongly noted before his intervention we were on track and making good progress.
In the most recent meeting held by the council to approve a plan and funding, we were shocked at some of the comments made by some councilors. They insinuated that we were not taking responsibility; we demonstrated a lack of acknowledgement, we did not want to do anything and our attitude stinks, and that we had put them between a rock and a hard place!
We have no desire to cause the ratepayers to spend money or inconvenience local residents. More importantly, due to the additional publicity we have now received, we fear that visitor volumes will only continue to increase thus exacerbating the traffic problems and our safety concerns.
Sadly, in light of everything, we have taken the decision to bring to an end the Greyhound Close Xmas lights; and we are deeply sorry to say the enjoyment of many visitors during the festive season.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to everyone who has supported us over the years, for their kind donations and offers of help posted on social media. We know that this will disappoint many of you, and we in turn will miss our chats with visitors and the enjoyment on children’s (including our own children) and adults faces.
Of the £56,000 donated by our visitors, this money has helped many worthy causes.
Should you wish to continue to support Ronald McDonald House Southampton or Naomi House, please go to their Just Giving sites and donate online.
Please, please, PLEASE
We understand that not everyone has access to our Facebook page and website, so in the interests of stopping people traveling needlessly to see the lights. Please could we ask you share this message throughout your friends and families asking them to please NOT visit the Greyhound Close Xmas lights, as they will not be on.
Thanks again for a fabulous 15 years
From the residents of Greyhound Close