Chester may be about to experience ‘Bauble-gate’ MK II after last year’s controversial red Christmas decorations were mysteriously swapped for green ones instead.
In 2015 then Tory opposition leader Cllr Mike Jones sparked a social media debate after he suggested the appearance of red festive baubles was a socialist statement by the new Labour -controlled authority.
Cheshire West and Chester Council was forced to put out a statement explaining the £4,300 baubles were chosen in red simply because it is ‘synonymous with Christmas’.
Now fresh questions are being asked after green baubles started to appear in Bridge Street.
Niki Davies, owner of the Chester Health Store in Bridge Street Row, finds the whole debacle rather amusing.
“I think it’s going to spark a huge Twitter debate!” she said, but on a serious note would be disappointed if the council had spent money changing the baubles just because of last year’s row.
“That’s my question. We only had red one year. Do they buy them? Do they hire them? I know there are firms that do decorations for town centres. I’m hoping they’ve not bought them.”
Talking about last year’s spat, she continued: “I thought it was hilarious. Absolutely hilarious. It wasn’t political at all. Red is a Christmas colour. It’s synonymous.”
If the political conspiracy theory held any water then one might suspect the Green Party had taken over the council but in fact there isn’t a single Green councillor although Labour does have an anti-fracking stance.
Niki continued: “Green is synonymous with Christmas – it’s the same as red. It’s traditional colours and if we’re going to spark another argument you could say the visit by Coca Cola truck was behind the red baubles last year. Father Christmas used to be green any way but apparently Coca Cola made him red as a marketing ploy.
“If it sparks interest and conversation, I’m all for it, and it does.”
Council chiefs are hoping the Christmas lights will actually come on at the switch-on taking place on the evening of Thursday, November 17, after technical problems last year. The Chronicle understands the format will be the same involving a parade around the city centre.
Cheshire West and Chester Council has been approached for a comment about why the baubles are green this year.