The lights comprise the same set of illuminated panels with flashing stars and chains of lights draped around trees that have been seen in previous years.
But eagle-eyed Hedge Ender’s and passers-by will notice that there is already a failed panel, exactly where it was to be seen at the end of the previous festive season, in January 2012.
Over the years, the illuminated panels have proved unreliable, with failed illuminations often to be seen in Hedge End every Christmas.
Although the contract to erect the lights provides for the maintenance ot the display during the festive season, the usual solution is for the failed panels to be moved to lamp-posts in St Johns Road, where they are less noticeable.
But this year there is already a failed panel in St Johns Road, not working, there to be seen (or not) shortly after the the switch-on ceremony. It was still there to be seen (or not) 24 hours later, on Friday evening, and at the time of writing it remains unrepaired.
It appears that the festive lights have not been adequately checked & repaired during the summer months…
Earlier this year, Hedge End’s Community & Culture committee decided not to install additional power points, at a cost of £11k, which would have allowed additional sets of lights, strings of coloured bulbs, to be installed around Hedge End’s shops. The newer lights that have been used in recent years, and which have proved very popular, were considered adequate.
The Town Council have, however, produced a calendar for 2013, the sale of which is intended to help fund the provision of Christmas lights in future years.