Ruffley's Summit Meeting saves Bury St Edmunds Christmas lights

Saturday, 19 January, 2008

David Ruffley MP and business leaders in Bury St Edmunds have reacted with delight to the news that the Bury St Edmunds Christmas Lights will not be sold off at the end of February 2008.

The Town Council had said it would no longer be solely responsible for the town's Christmas lights and, if nobody came forward to take over before 29 February 2008, the lights will be sold off to the highest bidder.

However, a meeting convened and chaired by David Ruffley, on Friday 18 January, resulted in the Chairman of the Town Council, Roy Bebbington, agreeing to rescind the resolution to sell the lights and participate in discussions over how the lights can be provided in the future.

David said:

'The Christmas lights bring valuable trade to our town. We needed to ensure that the lights were not sold off and that Bury St Edmunds continues to celebrate Christmas properly. I am delighted to say that the meeting I called achieved this goal.

'I managed to get everyone onside and stop the axe falling on the Christmas lights.

'We reached a verbal agreement among all the interested parties over how the lights could be funded in the future. The Town Council and Town Centre Management will now begin investigating the best way to move forward on this important issue.

'This was becoming a bad news story for our town- a town like Bury St Edmunds, the jewel in the crown of Suffolk, must display Christmas lights or risk damaging its excellent reputation.

'I am delighted that an agreement has been reached and I will now be keeping a close watch on developments to help the get the Christmas Lights project the contributions it needs.'