New Sandwell Christmas lights plan

Published 12th September 2017

Councillors are being asked to flick the switch on plans for brand new Christmas lights to brighten up Sandwell’s towns and neighbourhoods over the coming years.

A four-year contract to supply distinctive Christmas lights in each of the borough’s six towns, as well as neighbourhoods, is being considered by cabinet.

It is hoped new lights would make for great switch-on events, create a sense of community pride and overall brighten up the borough.

Councillor Syeda Khatun, deputy leader, said: “Our current contract is coming to an end and so this is an opportunity to brighten up the borough with updated Christmas lights and great switch on events at each of our towns from 2018 onwards.”     

A report to cabinet says the current contract with an external company ends in January 2018 and the council needs to start the procurement process for a new four-year contract.

It says the current contract is based on a mixed hire and ownership basis whereby the council owns some of the lights and hires others with the contractor responsible for installing, repairing, removing and storing the lights as part of the contract. 

And it adds some of the council-owned lights are now reaching the end of their life and need replacing.

If approved a new tender for £600,000 over four years will be drawn up looking for a supplier who can provide the most eye-catching lights to make the most impact across the borough.

The report before cabinet on September 20 says most councils hire lights because it allows the cost to be spread over the term of the contract and removes large upfront capital costs.

The new contract will place a high priority on the quality of the lights as well as excellent ongoing aftercare and would include a minimum of 396 column-mounted lighting motifs, 10 small tree lights for trees outside Oldbury Council House and Wednesbury traffic island and 16 festoon lights for Christmas trees in:

  • Bearwood (Lightwoods)
  • Blackheath
  • Birchley Island sign
  • Great Bridge
  • Langley (High Street)
  • Oldbury (Council House)
  • Old Hill (Reddall Hill Road)
  • Smethwick (Council House)
  • Smethwick (rear of Victoria park hotel)
  • Tipton (Owen Street)
  • Cradley Heath (Mary McArthur Memorial Gardens)
  • Wednesbury (Crankhall Lane)
  • Wednesbury (Union Street)
  • West Bromwich (Queens Square)
  • West Bromwich (Junction one island
  • West Bromwich (Carters Green)
  • West Bromwich (Stone Cross).