It is often said that Christmas gets earlier every year with many getting ready for the festive season in early November. But not in Palma. The city council in their wisdom have decided to delay the switching-on of the Christmas lights until 3 December, a week later than usual. Local shopkeepers are quite rightly furious.

The council defended their decision saying that the end of November was "too early." This is complete nonsence. The Christmas lights give Palma a festive feel and will attract shoppers. If the council want to save money, then perhaps the festive lights could be switched on first in the main shopping streets and then in residential areas a few days later. Local shopkeepers need all the help they can get. Times are still very hard, and shops in the centre of Palma are facing stiff competition from out-of-town shopping centres.

I can't understand the council decision. They have even decided that the lights will be switched on a Saturday rather than the traditional Friday. I sincerely hope that the council are not planning to cut back on the festive events. The Three Kings' parade on 5 January is an event which is enjoyed by thousands of people and it needs to be properly funded. There can be no excuses. The people of Palma and also visiting tourists want the city to have a festive feel. So before the council gets any idea of playing Scrooge, remember the festive season is also good for business.

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