By Adrian Zorzut, Local Democracy Reporter
One council’s bid to create some festive cheer for shoppers got some residents talking for all the wrong reasons.
Westminster City Council (WCC) planted this year’s communal Christmas tree with great fanfare that involved the Lord Mayor and a lighting ceremony.
But what was meant to be a festive delight quickly turned into a baubles up – with business owners and passers-by labelling the tree as “miserable”.
The giant decoration planted in Tachbrook Street in the city’s capital appears to be lop-sided and has been referred to by some as the “leaning tower of Pisa” or a giant “cucumber”.
WCC installed a tree a month ago but had it removed after people noticed it was lacking foliage.
But what came next baffled nearby vendors.
Kebab shop worker Mohsen Mansour, 41, whose stall is right beside the festive timber, said: “What is that? It’s terrible. It looks like they didn’t put it in properly. It looks miserable”
He, like others traders, were allegedly told by the council that the rather salient lean had to do with the way the tree was grown.
Veg man Ian, 52, said: “It’s the second tree they had. The first one was bald. Sums up Westminster council really, all over the gaff.”
The tree has also received criticism online.
One user posting on social media platform Nextdoor shared photos of the wonky tree lit up at night and said the council had an “excellent idea” but “poor execution”.
Councillor Geoff Barraclough, Westminster City Council’s cabinet member for planning and economic development, said: “All real Christmas trees are different, but their message is the same, a celebration of the time of year.
“As far as I’m aware we’ve not had any complaints directly to our markets team, although the Lord Mayor took part in the lighting ceremony a few weeks ago and had a very nice time meeting with local residents.”
Pictured top: Kebab stall worker Mohsen Mansouri, 41, working next to Westminster council’s wonky Christmas tree in Tachbrook Street (Picture: Adrian Zorzut)