Bring back the Christmas spirit to Dundee, say the Liberal Democrats.

21 Nov 2023
Christmas tree in the City Square

Dundee SNP council administration is not listening to the public over calls for the return of the annual civic Christmas tree in the City Square and annual fireworks events on 5th November, said the LibDems.

At City Council committees on 20th November, Councillor Daniel Coleman tried to amend a report on events in the city, his amendment reading :

“Committee instructs officers to give consideration to the viability – from 2024 onwards - of: Restoring annual public fireworks displays every 5th November, recognising that the provision of professionally managed public displays assists the message of discouraging the public using fireworks, given the risk of harm in handling them. Possible sites would be Balgay Park and Drumgeith Park, given that Baxter Park is no longer a viable site in the east of the city for a public fireworks display. "  

"However, officers are instructed to consider all possible viable sites – one in the east and one in the west of the city - and liaise with appropriate partner organisations, including the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service and Police Scotland on the viability of these, before reporting back to this committee."  

"Restoring having a real Christmas tree in City Square, with the return of the traditional City Square Christmas lights switch on event to complement existing activity in City Square. Committee instructs officers to report findings to this committee by 31st March 2024.”

Councillor Coleman’s amendment had the support of all opposition councillors but was voted down by a single vote by SNP councillors.

Cllr Coleman said afterwards:

 “I am frankly astounded that the SNP Administration voted my amendment down. I frequently hear from them they want to look at cross party co-operation and when the most reasonable amendment of the term comes forward, they cannot wait to vote it down.”

“I have heard from more people than I can count about their disappointment in respect of the loss of a real city Christmas tree and the public fire work displays. We are all aware of the financial issues local government currently faces, but my amendment simply suggested we explore the viability of the return of a real Christmas Tree in the city square and public fireworks displays. It did not commit the city council to anything other than a report back to committee in March 2024.” 

“The fact the SNP have just decided to close the door entirely on these matters will come as great disappointment to many in the city. It will be for the SNP to explain to the public why they think they are above listening to what our citizens have to say.”

“As my colleague Councillor Craig Duncan noted, the Broughty Ferry Traders do exceptional work to come together and put on fantastic Christmas lights and events in that area. Yet in the city centre we are not even going to look at that possibility."