THERE will be no communal Christmas tree on Manchester Road this year because a parish council says it cannot afford it.

Ian Johnson, chairman of Poulton with Fearnhead Parish Council, has announced that the tree, which costs nearly £2,000 to put up, will not be provided this Christmas.

He said: “Due to necessity of and tightening of budget constraints, we cannot fund the usual illuminated Christmas tree which has brightened up the Paddington area for four weeks annually.

“This had been popular and enjoyed by residents and passing motorists on Manchester Road.

“This was a well debated issue and a sad consequence of the time, but to continue to provide seasonal enjoyment in the run up to Christmas, an outdoor brass band Carol concert event will be arranged for all residents as an alternative.

“Details of this shall be distributed when arrangements are concluded, and all in the community shall be welcome to the evening.”

Readers on the Warrington Guardian Facebook page reacted to the decision.

Vicky Fleet said: “What a shame.

“I used to love driving past that and showing my little girl.

“Now with an added child I would have liked to show her as well.

“It won’t be Christmas really without that tree.”

Angela Clayton said: “What about normal people, it’s taking the fun out of Christmas Jackie Austin said: “Think it’s disgraceful, I bet they can find money to spend on council products.”

Other readers supported the move.

Kimberley Williams said: “As long as they use any money saved for reasonable things I'd say its a good thing.

“If they can't afford it, yeah it’s a shame but we all have to be frugal nowadays and if this is one way to save money then so be it.

“Better no tree than making someone redundant.”