Bathurst's Christmas decorations welcomed after bare streets in 2016

DECORATIONS: The lamp standards in the central business district have Christmas banners on them this year after Bathurst Regional Council drew criticism last year for its lack of cheer. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 120617cxmasbanr
DECORATIONS: The lamp standards in the central business district have Christmas banners on them this year after Bathurst Regional Council drew criticism last year for its lack of cheer. Photo: CHRIS SEABROOK 120617cxmasbanr

STACEY Whittaker has welcomed the Christmas decorations Bathurst Regional Council has introduced to the city this year.

Ms Whittaker, who stepped down as the Bathurst Business Chamber president last month, was one of the key community members leading the charge for decorations in 2016. 

At the time, she was critical of council for doing little to spread Christmas cheer in Bathurst when other Central West cities were sporting decoration and trees. 

Her criticism led to a heated public debate between herself and, now deputy mayor, Bobby Bourke. 

Twelve months later, council and Cr Bourke have taken the criticism and suggestions from the community on board and put banners on the central business district lamp standards. 

There is also a Christmas tree in Kings Parade and council has attempted to hold the first Christmas Picnic in the Parade event. 

“They did a good job at finally listening to the community,” Ms Whittaker said. 

“Baby steps, it’s a process.” 

She said that, while the banners were a good start, she would like to see council and the business houses work together to liven up the city more in future years. 

During a recent trip to Canberra, she drove through Cowra and saw there were Santa decorations on the awnings above shops that the Lions Club puts up for a small fee.

“I’d love to see something like that involved as well,” Ms Whittaker said. 

She said the idea could raise money for charity, involve the community and spread festive cheer all at the same time.