Il Natale tree in Bailiff Bridge is shining a metaphorical light on the West Yorkshire village, having been described as “the worst in the north” after it was decorated only a third of the way up.
Council bosses say the issue with sprucing up the spruce is that the natural tree has grown too tall, meaning it is unsafe to decorate the higher sections “as they can’t be reached by any maintenance vehicles”, according to Calderdale council’s cabinet member for public services and communities, Jenny Lynn.
“It’s Elf and Safety gone mad,” said the local Conservative councillor George Robinson. “It is clear that it is the worst Christmas tree in the north. When I saw the tree, my heart went into my stomach, the Christmas spirit left my body – I was just left with a Scrooge-like feeling. The lights go a third of the way up the tree, there are two stray baubles on there, clearly a token gesture: in alcuni modi, you wonder why the council bothered.”
Amid a pandemic, local people had hoped the tree would bring some festive cheer to the village, but instead it has left them feeling as gloomy as the upper branches when walking past Memorial Park where it is situated.
“A Christmas tree is not just a tree,” said Robinson, “it is what it represents, it embodies ambition, excitement, being with family and friends, it is much more than a tree – I think that is the point. Especially after Covid, people want to look at a tree and be excited.
“Some people have said we would be better taking our own Christmas tree and plonking it in the park. It would certainly bring more joy to residents than that shambles, which is up there.”
There is some positive news for locals, as Calderdale council has promised a superior offering in 2022, allowing the people of Bailiff Bridge to select an alternative tree to decorate in the village.
“It is a success story, it is the power of media,” said Robinson. “I think it is important that Calderdale council put this bah humbug attitude behind them so we can move forward, so next year Bailiff Bridge gets the best Christmas tree, the Christmas tree it deserves.”