Christmas tree or crime scene? Festive display sealed off by council

The cordoned off Christmas tree in Hoveton, which was secured for health and safety reasons. Picture

The cordoned off Christmas tree in Hoveton, which was secured for health and safety reasons. Picture: Paul Keeble - Credit: Paul Keeble

Is this a case of elf and safety gone mad?

Hoveton Parish Council has unveiled its festive display in the village.

However, while its Christmas tree does feature traditional lights and a star on top, two other decorations have caught the eye - blue guide ropes and yellow and black safety tape.

The parish council said the tree, close to Hotel Wroxham, needed the measures for health and safety reasons.

Pete Howe, vice chairman, said: 'We wanted to put up a Christmas tree for people in the village to enjoy but, simply put, we had to tie it down as a safety measure.

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'The tree is potted and the last thing we would want is for it to fall down or hurt somebody.'

Mr Howe added that while it was not a specific instruction from insurers, the decision had been made to err on the side of caution.

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He added: 'I do not think any of the safety measures detract from the fact it is still a Christmas tree and people can enjoy it.'

The tree was sponsored by two local businesses - Stobart and Hurrell estate agents and the Hotel Wroxham - and was put up with the assistance of the Bure Valley Rotary Club.

It was bought from a Christmas tree sale organised by St John's Community Primary School and Nursery in the village and was the largest available at the time.

Mr Howe added: 'We did want a bigger tree, but unfortunately there wasn't one available. Another is being put up across the bridge in Wroxham.'

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