Christmas spirit: Kidwelly is set to celebrate the switch on of their lights

It could be straight out of a Charles Dickens novel. The wealthy town’s folk celebrating with all the trimmings while the poor folk up on the mountain gather around candles. It is a tradition going back many years that the mountain folk of Mynyddygarreg are blessed with light at Christmas time by the good folk on the lowlands of Kidwelly (the Town Council). Sadly there will be no lighting of the Christmas tree and lights at the Neuadd (hall) this year. There are  however always two sides to a story as we know.

The committee of Mynyddygarreg Hall contacted Llanelli Online to explain what has happened and why they face the prospect of no annual switch on of the Christmas lights. They explained:

“The Neuadd committee have for countless years hosted the Tree and lights on behalf of Kidwelly and Mynyddygarreg Town Council. This has generally been at the expense of the Hall.

“This season we asked the Town Council for financial assistance in relation to the provision of new lights and the costs of their installation. We’re offered £150 by the Town Council which did not go near covering our costs.

“We understand the Councils budget for Christmas Lights is around £8,000 so we were surprised that they were not prepared to assist us realistically.

“The Christmas lights in Kidwelly will I’m sure be as wonderful and abundant as they always are. MYG will be left with the usual two lamppost lights at the start and end of the village.

“It is with great regret that we have made this decision as we know it will leave a great many in the village, particularly the children, disappointed.

“As far as Christmas lights are concerned the season of goodwill for the Town Council does not really seem to extend to both communities they serve.”

Llanelli Online contacted Kidwelly Town Council to ask them why they have decided not to contribute more than £150 to the community.

Llanelli Online contacted Kidwelly Town Council and the Town Clerk Virginia O’Reilly said: “Every year we supply the Christmas tree for Mynyddygarreg as we have this year. It is being installed as we speak. We have not had a written application for lights and as a council we are audited. We have to have written applications before allocating public money. We did contribute £900 last year towards the lights. As we understand it some of the lights may be in need of repair. The council has offered £150 via a vocal application. The hall committee are a constituted organisation and they are able to apply for funding in writing. We are sorry this has happened but we did not know what they were looking for. How much money, what quotes they had. We could have helped if we had had something in writing.”

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