Questions raised over 'expensive' cost of council's Christmas trees

Councillors have demanded a detailed breakdown explaining why the festive features cost so much.

Questions raised over ‘expensive’ cost of Glasgow council’s Christmas trees iStock

Questions have been asked about why Christmas trees are set to cost the council in Glasgow £3,600 each.

Govan councillors have demanded a detailed breakdown explaining why the festive features are so “expensive.” 

A quote for a Christmas tree at Govan Cross is £3,600, according to a council official. The same amount has been quoted for a tree at Ibrox Library. 

The council officer also said three natural trees at the Linthouse roundabout would come in at £9,100.

Speaking at the Govan Area Partnership meeting on Tuesday, Green Party councillor Douglas Hutchison said a question had been already asked at the last meeting about “why is it £3,600 for a tree?”

A council official said costs include lights, road closure and contractor fees. 

SNP councillor Richard Bell said: “I could go to any garden centre locally and get a significantly cheaper tree.”

He added: “It seems to be a very expensive individual cost per individual site. That is something that is difficult for the committee to accept.”

SNP Councillor Stephen Dornan added: “We have asked continually for a breakdown. It is all very well the officer saying: ‘it may be because of this’ but we need to know if it is.”

He added: “At Ibrox we wouldn’t need to close any roads. The space is there to do the work without disturbing anyone.”

Councillor Hutchison asked if the officer could provide breakdowns and she confirmed that would be provided as soon as possible. 

Asking for specific breakdowns for the Govan sites, Councillor Bell said: “Why would we pay for road closures to put a Christmas tree at Ibrox when the location is not anywhere near the road?”

He said it is “hugely disappointing” that councillors don’t have the necessary information on cost breakdown yet despite asking for it at the last partnership meeting. 

Expressing frustration, he said the delay in getting answers left councillors in a dilemma as they don’t have information on why trees are so “expensive.”

It was agreed councillors and community representatives would arrange a specific meeting in October to make a decision on how many Christmas trees Govan will receive and where they will be located.

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