Council forced to replace Christmas trees after they arrive half-size

Community outrage led the local authority to replace the tiny trees.

Scottish Borders Council forced to replace town centre Christmas trees after they arrived half-size Kelso Community Council

A council has been forced to replace its Christmas trees after some arrived half the height they expected.

Scottish Borders Councils (SBC) had ordered 12 20ft fir trees for the area’s town centres.

But when they arrived some were only half that size.

The issue led to community outcry and the council placed a new order in time for the festive season.

Trees are now installed in Kelso, Melrose and Hawick.

Kelso provost Gavin Horsburgh told the BBC: “We are used to having an impressive, large tree in our square at Christmas.

“We were taken aback with what was delivered – with us having such a large square the tree was completely lost.”

He added: “Hats off to SBC for realising their mistake and taking into consideration all of the complaints.

“The new tree is around twice the size of the original one and will make such a difference for this weekend’s lights switch-on.”

A spokesperson for SBC said: “Scottish Borders Council fund Christmas trees for a number of communities across the region; this year the order was the same as previous years.

“Following installation our contractor was made aware of problems with some of the trees installed, this was due to a supplier issues. 

“As a result, we have replaced a number of those trees. We have been advised that the supply nursery is now no longer on-site harvesting trees, so it is unable to source any further replacements.

“The dressing of supplied trees with lights by SBC commenced earlier this week.

“If communities wish to source their Christmas trees separately in future years, we would be very happy to support this, bearing in mind both the financial constraints facing local authorities at this time and the multiple other competing priorities for funding.”

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