Threat to Woodbridge festive lights

CHRISTMAS lights and the popular street fair in Woodbridge could be under threat if traders do not pull their weight.Just five people turned up to the Chamber of Trade's annual meeting and those traders who are involved said it will soon be impossible to carry on without more support.

CHRISTMAS lights and the popular street fair in Woodbridge could be under threat if traders do not pull their weight.

Just five people turned up to the Chamber of Trade's annual meeting and those traders who are involved said it will soon be impossible to carry on without more support.

At the moment the Chamber does not even have a chairman and very few traders are attending the monthly meetings.

Now councillor Russell Geen, who sits on the Chamber as a representative for the town council, has warned that unless more traders give their support, things could look very bleak for the future.

He said: "There will be no street fairs or Christmas lights this year if people do not pull themselves together. At the moment we don't even have a chairman or a secretary.

"There are so many lovely shops in Woodbridge that could pull together."

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Peter Phillips, acting chairman of the chamber who runs the Leather and Sheepskin Warehouse, in the Thoroughfare, said that the group's demise would not be good for the town.

He said: "We are not just about street fairs and Christmas lights. We are the traders means of talking to the council – if for example there is suddenly a rise in rates or something there is no immediate body that can deal with it on behalf of the traders."

Mr Phillips added that Christmas lights only went up last year because some smaller traders dug deep to cover the expenditure.

But he said: "I don't feel with all the will in the world that we can go back to these people cap in hand for as much this year."

Also, because not enough people are involved with the chamber, the few people that do organise things are finding that they simply do not have the time to carry on with it.

Mr Phillips said that time had just been spent on producing the town guide that will help as an advertisement for many businesses.

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