Hythe Town Council has come under fire from local residents over the decision to spend £12,500 a year over the next five years on hiring in Christmas lights for the High Street.

The cost does not include the festive Christmas tree that was donated by the Ministry of Defence and Contractors Landmarc, organised by former Mayor Paul Peacock .

Social media was whipped up into a frenzy when the news broke.dont talk about the cost of the lights

“Not very Green is it!” Sam Pellett wrote and went on to say: “I voted for this council and what have they actually done so far?  They have not stopped Princes Parade which they promised, they have done away with the toilets at the boot fairs and are now charging us twelve grand a year for a few dismal fairy lights, which don’t even belong to the town!”

On the Hythe Residents Facebook page, Paul Weller said: “Apparently it’s costing the town £12.5 k for our Xmas lights.  Sounds super extravagant.  Just seen the 12.5 worth.  £12.5 sounds about right.  Clearly the new council which I voted for are having a laugh and this is for the next five years.  Mental.  Explain please Councillor Douglas Wade.”

Douglas Wade (the Mayor of Hythe) replied with a statement saying: “The cost of the Xmas lights is shared between Hythe Town Council & Hythe Business & Tourist Association with many residents also contributing.  The old lights are completely defunct so it was decided to enter into a contract whereby a company would supply the lights, put them up, take them down, and maintain them each year.  The cost is the same for Hythe as for other similar towns nearby.  We looked into what other towns are doing and I think we got the best deal available.  Thank you so much to everyone who has given their time, energy and money for this.  I’m sure our High Street will look wonderful this year.”

Sue Turner wrote: “For a council that promised so much they have magnificently failed. There are far more important things they could spend the money on. These lights will be used for five months over a five year period.  If the High Street traders want the lights let them buy their own or decorate their own shops.  More and more of us run businesses from home, maybe I should tap the mayor up for a few quid.  Seems they have been scrumping at Jeremy Corbyns orchard of money trees!”