Concerns raised over city’s lights switch-on

Picture: Neil Marshall

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CHICHESTER’S Christmas lights switch-on event proved too popular for its own good and could be changed in the future – or not happen at all, according to organisers.

Thousands of people packed into the city centre to watch the new lights being switched on by actor Simon Callow at The Cross on Saturday.

But while many enjoyed it, some complaints have been made about crowd control as there was no room to move for many minutes before and after the event.

Chichester City Council is responsible for the lights display, which didn’t happen last year because of funding problems.

Town clerk Rodney Duggua said there are a number of options he will be putting forward for next year, including that the switch-on event doesn’t happen at all.

‘As the event concluded, it was obvious that although many people had exercised good-natured tolerance and enjoyed themselves, there were clearly some who had an opposite experience, being caught up in the large crowd which they found frightening, particularly around The Cross,’ he said.

‘This is positively the last thing anyone would want with an event which had good news and happy themes uppermost.

‘Those involved will be sitting down very soon to review future planning.

‘I, for one, will not be backing any plan which continues to feature present routines.’