Dundee City Council needs to return the City Square Christmas Tree and Annual Fireworks Displays

21 Jul 2023

Dundee City Council agreed last month to produce a proper events strategy. Following that, the council’s Liberal Democrat Group has called on the council to listen to public feedback before finalising it: the annual seasonal Christmas tree in the City Square should be returned and the council should look into the viability of bringing back the public fireworks displays each 5th November. This was provided every year until the SNP administration axed them after the COVID pandemic.

Strathmartine Ward councillor Daniel Coleman said:

“There’s a real need to look again at what the council is actually doing with its Christmas offer and I am not at all sure the council is really listening to the public feedback on the civic Christmas tree. The SNP administration took away the City Square tree and replaced it with a so-called “living tree” at the City Churches.This was really something of a pale imitation of the traditional Christmas tree and not well-received by many of the Dundee public – smaller and less well-positioned than City Square.”

“It sort of sums it up that the so-called “living tree” died just nine months after it was installed. We suggest not replacing it at the City Churches but the council giving a commitment to return to the traditional City Square tree each Christmas. We feel sure that with a bit of effort, the council could do this in a sustainable way.”

“Dundee events strategy should look again the Christmas offer to the people of Dundee. Whilst there was some free activity in the City Square and worth retaining – perhaps moving some of it to the pedestrianised area of the High Street when the Christmas tree returns to the City Square. However, we are concerned about the cost of some of the activities at Slessor Gardens for families on a limited income. Events must be inclusive and open to all Dundee people.”

His group colleague, West End councillor Fraser Macpherson, added :

“With regard to Dundee’s Christmas offer, we also have concerns about the way the Festive Fund’s rules have been changed. The fund helps community groups to put on local Christmas events. The rules have been changed so that funding is reduced to groups after the third year. They are cut off completely from funding thereafter. For long-standing community Christmas activity, this is really bad news and it needs reviewed urgently. We cannot see successful community events lost thanks to the council’s rule changes.”

“The Liberal Democrat group has also previously called for the Flower and Food Festival to return to Camperdown Park, having been axed from that popular location  by the SNP administration.”

Councillor Coleman concluded:

 “There’s a real need to look again at the future of the Flower and Food Festival. It ran successfully at Camperdown Park in the Strathmartine Ward for many years and I was really disappointed when the SNP voted to take it away from that location.”     

“Details of the supposed alternative at Slessor Gardens are sketchy to say the least. In addition to looking again at the Dundee Christmas offer and bringing back fireworks on bonfire night, a rethink on moving the Flower and Food Festival from Camperdown should also form part of the events strategy the council draws up.”


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