The Ardrossan Christmas lights switch-on has been hit with a last-minute glitch – amid claims that North Ayrshire Council refused to sign a disclaimer allowing the lampost illuminations in Glasgow Street.

Ardrossan Christmas Lights Decorations Committee announced that they have just found out that they will not be allowed to put the lights up. The Committee are therefore asking local businesses to help out by putting up lights in their windows to illuminate the way for the parade.

Helen Brown, from Ardrossan Christmas Decorations Committee, claimed it is "because Cunninghame Housing want the council to sign a disclaimer in case one of the lights fall but the council won't sign that".

She added: “Obviously, we're quite disappointed about it, but we're still going ahead with it and we want to encourage as many businesses as we can to put lights up to light-up the way of the parade.”

Following the announcement, the committee posted on their Facebook: “Ardrossan Christmas Decorations Committee would like to apologise in advance for the lack of festive lights in Glasgow Street this year. This is due to circumstances out with our control. 

“North Ayrshire Council replaced all the lampposts in Glasgow Street earlier this year which had infrastructure bought and paid for by the Committee to enable lights to be placed on the lampposts. NAC did not replace this infrastructure – timers and switches – onto the new lampposts therefore the lights can no longer be fixed to the lampposts.

“NAC suggested we could move the lights onto buildings instead but as most of the buildings are residential owned by Cunninghame Housing Association this has not been possible and certainly not in the short timescale allocated to ACDC to remedy the situation.

“Naturally ACDC are devastated that they now have lights lying in storage that can no longer be displayed which they have worked hard over the years to purchase.

“We have tried to compensate by encouraging local shops and businesses to decorate their windows and by producing a lovely parade with beautiful lit lanterns to go through the town to the Civic where there will be the usual switch on of lights at the Civic Centre with entertainment and Santa’s Grotto, and we encourage everyone to come out and support the event to show that Ardrossan Community want festive lights in Ardrossan.”

The committee also suggested that any complaints about the lack of lights should be directed to the council through the complaints procedure on their website.

But a North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “We were never aware that the Ardrossan Christmas Decorations Committee wanted to use our lighting columns this year.  Indeed, the event application by the Committee for this year’s Christmas event did not include any reference to use of lampposts.

“We engaged with the Committee during the summer when we replaced the street lighting in Glasgow Street. It was agreed then that we would install a completely independent network for a new Christmas display at the top end of Glasgow Street.

“The Committee was involved in all discussions around this. New supply
points have been installed as part of this work which would give the
Committee complete control of their own network and no longer require the need to use lighting columns or in future years to pay for the inspections necessary to allow reuse of the lighting columns.

“The Committee was negotiating with property owners, Cunninghame Housing Association, to determine the final display positions, however we are disappointed to hear it appears these discussions did not reach conclusion in time for this year’s festivities.

“It is understood that the Committee will resume discussions to allow a
fuller display next year for the units they have bought and we will of
course continue to support the Committee as their negotiations progress.”

Cunninghame Housing Association were unavailable for comment.