£10k fine threat over charity lights is an 'overreaction'

Police action to threaten a homeowner with a £10,000 fine over his charity Christmas lights display has been branded an "overreaction" by neighbours.

WALSALL PIC  / DAVID HAMILTON PIC / EXPRESS AND STAR PIC 6/12/20 Some of the charity Christmas lights displayed at Kestral Way, Cheslyn Hay..
WALSALL PIC / DAVID HAMILTON PIC / EXPRESS AND STAR PIC 6/12/20 Some of the charity Christmas lights displayed at Kestral Way, Cheslyn Hay..

Mark Tomlinson said Trevor Payne's lights in Cheslyn Hay have been cheering residents up, including his five-year-old daughter Tilly.

But the display was brought to a halt when police threatened to fine Mr Payne £10,000 because of people gathering to see them, neighbours said.

Disappointed she can't see the charity Christmas lights displayed at Kestrel Way, Cheslyn Hay, resident Tilly Tomlinson, aged five

A fundraising page was also set up by resident Joe Taylor to support the charity Young Minds, which the display would have been raising funds for, while the lights were off.

Mr Tomlinson said: "I just think it's a bit of an overreaction, yes it's a bit busy but it's only for a couple of weeks and it's bringing a smile to our faces including my own daughter, her face lights up.

"Tilly is gutted about it, it's breaking her heart.

Charity Christmas lights switched off, at Kestrel Way, Cheslyn Hay

"Trevor has a one-way system in place and people are queuing two metres apart to see it.

"He's done it so you can go down the drive, go on the right hand side, look at all the lights and go back on yourself.

"It definitely seems safe and it's outside anyway."

Charity Christmas lights switched off, at Kestrel Way, Cheslyn Hay
Some of the charity Christmas lights displayed at Kestrel Way, Cheslyn Hay

The 36-year-old, who owns M&C Motorcycles LTD in Aldridge, added: "Because of Covid there's nothing for anyone to do, the kids are fed up.

"I think the display is brilliant. We've been here three years and he's been doing it every year since.

"Trevor turned it off but said he has spoken to the police and asked what he needs to do to make it Covid secure so he's waiting for a call back.

Charity Christmas lights collection box, at Kestrel Way, Cheslyn Hay

"He said he doesn't think there's anything more he can do.

"When it was posted on Facebook it went bananas, people from really far afield were talking about it." Staffordshire Police has been asked to comment.

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