Villages, towns and cities all over the UK proudly display decorated fir trees during the festive period. However, it seems this year that for some places, the Christmas tree displays are a little disappointing, and health and safety is receiving the blame.
In South Tyneside, the eight metre fir trees in Cleadon and East Boldon have had to be cut down by a metre. Balfour Beatty, which installs the Christmas decorations in the borough, decided following a review that it would be unsafe to place the trees in situ using a crane as their equipment would come very close to overhead power cables. As a matter of public and employee safety, the trees had to be trimmed.
A spokesperson for SouthTyneside Council said, “Following a borough-wide risk assessment of festive Christmas tree locations, we have taken the decision to install reduced height Christmas trees in Cleadon and East Boldon. This is to ensure that South Tyneside Council complies with the relevant Health and Safety Executive guidelines regarding the potential hazards associated with working in close proximity of overhead power cables.”
Meanwhile, in Llanelli in Wales, a tree that was meant to be 25 feet tall has had to have four feet trimmed off it so that it meets the town's own health and safety guidelines. The tree had to be sunk five feet into a hole in the ground for safety reasons, meaning the bottom four feet of branches had to be removed. Locals are apparently referring to the tree, which is now dwarfed by adjacent trees, as a 'bonsai Christmas tree'.
A spokesperson for Carmarthenshire Council said, “The tree had to be anchored five foot under the ground due to safety reasons. It meant that around four foot of branches had to be cut off to accommodate this. We can assure people that Christmas in Llanelli will still be a magical time”.
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