Council bans family from putting Christmas lights up outside their own home

A family have been banned from putting festive lights on their own home by their local council. Dad Roger Clifford, 73, was lost for words after being told his Christmas lights display cannot go ahead for the first time in 20 years. Mr Clifford, from Feock, Cornwall, was told he could not put his traditional decorations up due to health and safety fears about “slippery grass”.

It means his bright Father Christmas and illuminated Coca Cola truck will never go on public display again. Housing association Cornwall Housing – which owns the surrounding land in their cul-de-sac – told them they “can’t put on the display this Christmas – or in future years”.

The annual light show (Clifford family / SWNS)

Roger said a new housing officer had cited “ridiculous health and safety reasons like slippery grass”. “But we have yet to be given a good enough reason – it’s a communal area outside, that we put virtually a full-size Father Christmas sleigh on, and inflatable reindeer,” he added.

“In previous years, children would sit in it and have their photographs taken and we’ve even got a castle that we built and was part of the old cathedral display on the Trafalgar Roundabout in Truro. “We’ve gone to a lot of time and trouble putting on quite the show each year but we don’t mind because we know how many families and children come out to enjoy it.

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“People from outside Cornwall even travel to look at it.” The family have built up their Christmas lights collection gradually every year since starting in 1996.

They had to take a year out last Christmas because of the pandemic but planned an extra-special display this December.

Council bans family from putting Christmas lights up outside their own homeThe family have been told it can no longer go ahead – after 20 years of delivering their famous light show (Clifford family / SWNS)

“After the 18 months every has suffered, we thought people deserved a good cheering up” said Roger. “We decided ourselves not to do it last year because everyone was in lockdown. Are the council right to impose the ban?

Let us know in the comments below “But people love it and my son wanted to do it this year. “We’ve had people come around already to see what we’ve put up and this is how it goes.

People tell their friends about the lights and it sort of snowballs from there”. His wife Elizabeth, 71, and son Ryan, 28, are also disappointed.

Council bans family from putting Christmas lights up outside their own homeTheir entire house was covered in festive spirit (James Dadzitis / SWNS)

“We’ve had visitors to Cornwall from as far as Dubai come out and say how good it was. “People from all over the country that come down at Christmas time to visit relatives, or for a Christmas break, come each year to see it” said Roger.

“We have had no problems from anyone else previously but a new housing officer has come in and told us no.

“The old housing officers used to come out and have a look at them, not to question them but to see the show.”

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