A £10,500 electronic Christmas tree had to be taken down after a popular switch-on event over fears that someone could be electrocuted.
The blue-lit frost-effect tree looked “spectacular” at Saturday’s switch-on in Stanley, County Durham, watched by a crowd that came out to see Emmerdale actor Ross Adams and the traditional lights.
But the LED-tree had to be guarded overnight before it was dismantled on Sunday over health and safety fears about its 240v power supply.
It was not wired incorrectly but there were fears that anyone tampering with the display could get a massive shock. Guidelines suggested a maximum voltage for an unsupervised public display of just 24v.
There are plans to have the power supply altered so it can be re-erected.
Stanley Town Council had chosen the model of tree as part of a £15,000 investment in a programme of events around Christmas to boost visitor numbers.
Durham County councillor Carl Marshall said: “It was not a danger when lit up, however if anybody interfered with it, swung on the branches or the junction boxes when they were messing about, they could get a big shock.
“There is a junction box on each branch.
“We wanted it out on show and the Christmas light switch-on went really well, the tree looked spectacular.”
Mr Marshall, a director of the not-for-profit body Stanley Events which organised the show, said the town council picked the tree, then got the organising body to erect it.
He said: “It is a worry that they have invested taxpayers’ money in a tree that cannot go back up yet. They will have an internal investigation into why it was ordered and why adaptations were not made before it was bought.
“They are working with various people to see how they can have it made safe. It will cost a lot of money to make sure it is. It is an absolutely gorgeous tree.”
Stanley is not without a Christmas tree – it still has a real one in the town centre display.
No one was available to comment at Stanley Town Council.
They will have an investigation into why it was ordered and why adaptations weren’t made