Waterford City and County Council, in latter years, has taken sole responsibility for the installation and maintenance of Christmas lighting in the main urban areas of Waterford City, Tramore and Dungarvan, to assist the retail and hospitality sectors at the critical Christmas trading period.
This is not a statutory function of the Council, and Waterford is one of only a few authorities who give this level of support.
In 2019, Waterford City & County Council used its public lighting contractor to provide the Christmas lighting services in Dungarvan, given the company’s track record of providing such services in Waterford, from the perspective of value for money and service.
Subsequently, during the Christmas period, it was brought to the Council’s attention on numerous occasions that there were problems with sections of Christmas lights within the town. The Council would at all times have liaised with the contractor and asked them to rectify the situation as soon as possible.
Notwithstanding this, the Council acknowledge that there were outages of significant scale and regret that the quality of the illuminations were not consistent with the level of service that we historically provide and always seek to provide. We would equally acknowledge the negativity generated given the understandable pride held by the public in Dungarvan’s Christmas offer and the central role of the illuminations in the Dungarvan Aglow festival.
Waterford City and County Council regret any inconvenience caused and is reviewing the issues that arose with a view to ensuring these do not occur during the next festive season. The Chief Executive has requested reports so that he may consider some of the significant issues arising. This review will be completed in the coming weeks and will address issues such as procurement compliance, seek to establish reasons for the unexplained outages and make recommendations for the future delivery of services. The report will be made available to the Council and to the public.
The Council would stress that all decisions in respect of the installation and maintenance of Christmas lighting were solely its own and would regret that the problems were reflected onto Dungarvan Chamber and the Dungarvan Aglow committee, both of whom made continuing representations seeking to have the issues resolved.