BRAMPTON’S popular Christmas lights switch-on has been cancelled because of on-going fears over the coronavirus.

Thousands of people attended the November community event last year - which marks the run-up to the festive season.

However councillors felt they just “can’t take the chance” this year with Government warnings that a second wave of the pandemic is a possibility.

Many other councils in the region have already cancelled their events.

For example Aspatria Town Council scrapped switch-on last month over covid-19 fears.

The decision was taken at an online Brampton Parish Council meeting on July 28.

Jenni Errington, chairman of the parish council, said: “We could not control the amount of people who would come, there is no way we can control it.

“I think everyone is going to be understanding.”

Councillor John Harding said: “It would be the saddest decision I have had to make in 15 years.

“I don’t feel we could go ahead with it this year due to the covid.

“We just can’t take the chance.

“A lot of Christmas switch-on events all over the country will be cancelled this year and we have to follow suit with Government guidelines.

“It breaks my heart but what are we to do?”

Councillor Sharon Angland said: “Well the one thing we don’t want to do is make people poorly or risk making people poorly.”

Councillor Margaret Blake said: “It will attract too many people, it’s totally unsafe to go ahead with it in view of the current circumstances.”

Councillor Martin Spears said: “We all know what the right answer is and that is to defer it to next year.”

However councillors said lights would be put up on the Moot Hall and surrounding area.

It will be an item for discussion at the next meeting on September 29.

There is no parish council meeting in August.

Mrs Errington said they would aim to have something “spectacular” next year with the money that was saved.

They also voted to defer repairs to some of the decorations until the next financial year.

Last week Carlisle City Council confirmed the decision that this year’s fireworks display, held each year in Bitts Park, and its city centre Christmas lights switch-on event, would be scrapped, also because of the current pandemic.

Both events attract thousands of spectators and the fireworks display alone was expected to attract 35,000 people.

The council decided to pull the events because it could not ensure effective social distancing.

The fireworks display was set to be held in November.