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Herne Bay volunteers given £10k for lights

A  group of volunteers hailed as “stars” will make the town shine next Christmas thanks to a grant from a Bay county councillor. Jean Law, who represents the town on Kent County Council, is
gifting the remainder of her member’s fund to four community groups in a
bid to make Christmas 2013 the best ever.

She hopes the £10,000 will help Herne Bay Town Partners,
Herne Bay in Bloom, Beach Creative and the BayPromoTeam attract more
cash in match funding to pay for a spectacular lights display. Mrs Law said:

“These are all groups I have worked with in the past and they work brilliantly together. They are all stars and I know that working together they can make up for this year and all the negative publicity. I have lots of ideas and I would like it to be like Herne Bay in Bloom, where the whole town comes together to make it great.”

This year’s tree was slammed as the “worst in the country” by
national newspapers, and its replacement was also panned by critics. There were complaints about the lack of lights in the High Street and that crossover lights used in previous years were missing. Mrs Law said:

“I was desperately disappointed with this year’s display and there was a lot of negative feeling about it. It was supposed to be so magical and it didn’t quite work like
that. But I know next Christmas will be better than ever, and I want to
see really inventive displays, not just common or garden lights.”

Among the ideas being considered are trees for over shops,
projected images of moving snowflakes on buildings, and a mini forest
of Christmas trees, donated from different sources. Mrs Law said:

“We also need shopkeepers to get involved and do
their bit in brightening up the town and that’s where Beach Creative can
get involved. It is a long-term project. We don’t need bling, we just need it
to be magical for the children and it is a real privilege to be involved
in it. I hope that this year we can invite all those who criticised us to come back and see what Herne Bay can really do.”

Former town trader Geoff Wimble has also set up a Christmas
lights group made up of residents and shopkeepers, and they are planning
fundraising events.

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