Worthing prepares for Christmas with stunning festive display - but residents spot something is missing

Worthing is getting geared up for Christmas with stunning festive displays appearing in the town – but residents have noticed something is missing.

A Christmas tree is standing proudly in Montague Street – surrounded by the wonderful festive display organised by Worthing Town Centre Initiative.

But the tree which normally sits out Worthing Town Hall is nowhere to be seen.

“Unfortunately there won't be a Christmas tree outside the town hall this year,” a spokesperson for Worthing Borough Council said.

"This year we’ve decided to focus our festive display in the heart of the town centre where it can be enjoyed by the maximum number of people.

“We’re facing difficult financial challenges like every council across the country, so will be focusing our resources on our frontline services, like keeping the town centre clean for our many visitors.

“We hope our residents and visitors understand the decision not to spend money on a second tree outside Worthing Town Hall.”

New town centre manager Hannah Mamzaroli said a key aim has been to raise spirits in the community in tough financial times.

“With cost of living going on at the moment, it's nice to be able to offer people something,” Hannah said.

"The lights is something Worthing is known for.

“The children love it and we also do a toy soldier trail, which everyone can get involved in. It's completely free and encourages people to get out and about in Worthing.

“There's a postbox in South Street, where children can post a letter to Santa, who will respond to every single letter.

"Our Christmas event is planned for December 14 and all the shops are open until 7pm on that day. We've got entertainment, a stage, various characters, a stilt walker, roller skating elves and Santa will be there too. We will be giving away freebies.”

Worthing Borough Council revealed in October that it could look to build more houses – and increase parking charges – after a forecast £1.8million overspend left services and assets under review.

The Worthing Town Centre Initiative is also ‘on a budget’.

Hannah said: “We are funded by the businesses so it's really important that they are getting value for money. We are doing these things to bring people into Worthing to shop.

“We do have some solar panel lights on the trees at the end of Rowlands Road. It's always a challenge but we've had to look at different ways to cut costs.”

Everyone who lives, works or studies in Adur or Worthing were invited to have their say on how council funding should be spent in their area.

Adur & Worthing Councils launched two surveys – one for each borough / district – to ask members of the community what they think the priorities for the local authorities should be for the year ahead.

Worthing Borough Council revealed in October that it could look to build more houses – and increase parking charges – as it aims to reduce the risk of bankruptcy. A forecast £1.8million overspend by Worthing Borough Council left services and assets under review.