Christmas tree gets thumbs down

Some local residents have complained that the tree looks like it has been caged
Some local residents have complained that the tree looks like it has been caged

Residents have been left disappointed by their Christmas tree which looks like it has been “caged” due to a health and safety issue.

Local people feel the festive spirit of the tree is marred by the tall metal fence which surrounds it on a traffic island in Shawlands.

Many have vented their feelings on the community council’s Facebook page, where Dorothy Boyd branded the tree “hideous” while Carol Meldrum wrote “The poor thing looks like it’s trapped” and William Love posted: “What an eyesore ... nae common sense”.

Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council negotiated with Glasgow City Council, who are responsible for the tree, in the hope of finding a more attractive way to protect the tree.

It was initially hoped the fence could be replaced with a lower barrier but community councillors have now been told the high fence has to stay because contractors are concerned about the safety risks with mains electricity if someone climbs over the railings.

Gary Cushway, chair of Shawlands and Strathbungo Community Council, said: “It seems it’s the contractors that have refused to sign off for health and safety reasons.

“It needs to be safe but there are a lot of families around the area and the children would like to have it looking nice. Perhaps the fence could be decorated to enhance it.

“Some people have said it looks like it has been caged.”

The community council hopes to begin negotiating with the city council early next year in the hope of finding a better solution for the festive tree in 2017.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The Christmas tree in Shawlands had Heras fencing installed around it by our contractors for safety reasons and also to ensure lights are not pulled off, as has happened on occasion in some locations.

“The installation of such fencing depends on a site specific assessment by the installation contractor.

“It should be noted that the Christmas tree in Shawlands was moved from its usual location at Shawlands Cross because of public realm work taking place there, and as always, we will review locations for next year.”

The council said a number of the city’s 26 neighbourhood Christmas trees have similar fencing.