Angry residents have hit out at their local council after they put lights on a Christmas tree described as looking “dead”.
A 12ft tree was planted in Blackpool last year, but locals say that within months the spruce had begun to drop its green needles and appeared lifeless.
Locals were left furious to discover that despite the sorry-looking state of the tree, Blackpool council had sent someone to put up Christmas lights on it.
One person fumed “the world has gone mad” as fed-up residents accused the council of wasting money and failing to properly maintain the tree.
Council chiefs have claimed that the bare tree is still “alive”, but have confirmed that it will be replaced by a “new tree”.
The council said that the tree, which is located in Oxford Square, on the south side of the seaside town centre, will be removed and given a new lease of life in the future by being planted elsewhere.
But news of the replacement hasn’t stopped fuming locals from putting the council on blast over social media as they asked why the local authority had ever decided to put up lights on a tree that had been reduced to “twigs”.
One resident wrote: “So Blackpool Council instructed an employee to put lights on Christmas trees around town and nobody noticed some of these trees were dead?
“No doubt the same staff will now have to remove the lights before a new tree can be planted when they can pop back for a third visit and decorate the new tree.
“Unbelievable! Is it any wonder council budgets are under serious pressure.”
Someone else added: “They need to be looked after not just planted in and left, obviously they don’t know how to look after a Christmas tree because why anyone would slap some lights on this twig when it’s one of the main roads in and out of Blackpool is beyond me.
“I wonder who thought “oh let’s plonk some lights on that twig”.
Another resident went on: “I noticed this tree the other day. Why did they even bother to put lights on a tree that has no pine needles on. The world has gone mad .”
Some locals suggested that the tree was one among several others planted around the borough as a way for the council to save money on future trees.
But they claimed that it had suffered from poor maintenance, saying: “[It’s] what they did last year by planting Christmas trees to save money for years to come.
“But they neglected to maintain them and keeping them fed to help them thrive. Perhaps they’ll learn by last year’s mistakes.”
While many were left angry about the situation, others took a more positive outlook, with one person adding: “I actually like it, reflective of the Christmas spirit many of us are feeling.”
Following complaints, Blackpool Council released a statement confirming that the sad-looking trees planted around the town will be removed and replaced by new ones in time for the festive season.
John Blackledge, the council’s Director for Community and Environmental Services, said: “A new tree is coming to the site in time for Christmas.
“The current tree has been inspected and is alive but will be moved and replanted to give it a chance to recover.”
He blamed a “difficult” winter for the state of the forlorn fir, adding: “Unfortunately, Christmas trees which were planted last year suffered through a difficult winter and are being transplanted to a new location in a sheltered environment.
“A new set of trees across the town are being prepared ready for Christmas.”