Pensioner labelled scrooge after refusing village access to power box on his land
A pensioner says it is not fair he is being labelled a scrooge who stole Christmas, after he refused to allow an electricity power box to be used for a village Christmas lights display.
Keith Berrington, who lives next door to the pond in Cherry Burton, Yorkshire, where the annual lights display is held, refused access to the box at the end of his garden over fears he could be held liable if someone is electrocuted or injured.
He is currently embroiled in a boundary dispute with the parish council over the ownership of the land where the box is located.
He said: They cant use it because its on our land, theres no insurance, so we need special insurance for them to use it.
As far as I am concerned theres no reason why the lights should not go up but they have to provide the power source.
Last year they still put the lights up, they got a supply from somewhere else. We have not stopped them putting the lights up.
They have had a year to sort it out. They have chosen not to, to put us in a bad light for not using the boxes.
The use of them is dangerous, they are not what you would want anyone having on their land and being responsible and liable for.
The retired building surveyor says he would prefer the power supply to be relocated from his garden.
Andy Bunney, an original member of the villages Christmas lights group, says the power box was installed on the pond side of the garden hedge in the 1990s, long before Mr Berrington moved into the bungalow in 2012.
Villagers took to social media to vent their feelings after learning the annual Christmas lights display will not be happening.
One person posted in the Facebook group saying: Reminds me of the Dickens story Scrooge! Baah humbug!
Villager David Pattenden said many residents are upset there will be no lights display.
He said: The whole village is angry at this and tempers are very short to say the least, comments on Cherry Burton Facebook page shows the extent of this anger.
Many of the village children look forward to the stalls, Santas visit but mainly the Christmas lights and decorations and they will be very disappointed.
This event has been a village festival for years.
Mr Pattenden added: It wont cost him a penny, the electricity is paid for.
The parish council issued a statement saying: The normal Christmas lights will not be switched on.
This is because the parish council is in the process of negotiating a boundary settlement with the adjoining land owner and therefore will not be accessing the usual electricity supply.