WHITEHAVEN'S Christmas lights were switched on at the weekend, but not everyone was happy about it.

Councillor Chris Hayes, Mayor of Whitehaven Town Council, switched on the lights at 5pm on Saturday outside of Haigh's butchers.

Members of the public were invited down to see the lights turn on.

Cllr Hayes hailed the lights as "beautiful" but some people were upset that there had been no attractions or large scale event.

He said: "We weren’t doing a big event because the group that organise it every year decided that they weren’t going to do it because of Covid.

"We didn’t find out until very short notice. We had no chance of organising anything else.

"All I did was press a little button to switch the lights on. Last year when we didn’t have an event the lights just came on [and we didn’t even know about it].

"We just said to people if they wanted to come down. There were a lot of kids there, I was chatting to them and everything."

He added: "Lowther Street is absolutely beautiful with the Christmas trees and everything."

He said that they would like to have more lights in the future, with the town council saving money for them.

He said: "We’re going to build on them every year and make them better every year but we haven’t got a pot of gold."

Some residents were disappointed that there was not a larger event.

They shared their views on the Whitehaven Town Council Facebook page.

John Kane said: "Not a criticism but why did the Town Council not support an official Christmas light switch on?

"To be honest and forthcoming, it was an embarrassment.

"I sincerely hope steps are being put in place for next year.

"You appear to be the scapegoat and it certainly wasn’t you."

Liam McKinney said: "They should be ashamed. What on earth are they? Worst I've seen."

However, Caroline Bainbridge said: "The lights are beautiful."

Cllr Hayes said: "We’re unpaid volunteers. I don’t think people realise that."