Furious villagers say new pathetic £1,450 Christmas tree is massive rip off

Furious villagers have slammed their new Christmas tree, branding it "pathetic" and a "massive rip off".

The tree was planted in Diggle, Oldham, Greater Manchester, and is meant to be the village's first "permanent" Christmas tree, costing £1,450.

However, once the price of the tree was revealed residents said those who approved buying it were "massively ripped off", the Daily Mirror reports.

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The Diggle Village Association, which split the cost of the tree with the council, claimed it was £200 cheaper than the repair work needed to erect a temporary one.

They added that the massive charge for their newly planted evergreen had included "cost of labour, electricity hook up and lights", despite it standing at just 6ft tall.

However, many locals were furious and took to social media to voice their concern, claiming that the tree could be 10 times over budget.

One wrote on Facebook: "Wow, massively ripped off there! A 6ft tree will cost approx £60 to £100 depending on where you buy from then you add labour costs and you'll be far far less than the £1,450 you've paid."

A second simply commented: “£1,450 for a tree?!!!!! How???” While a third added: "I'm no expert on tree prices, feels 10x overpriced.”

A spokesperson from Diggle Village Association responded to the criticism, saying it would have cost £1,250 to put up a temporary tree this year due to maintenance costs.

They also said the land where the tree was planted late last week was owned by Oldham council so they had to use “certified contractors”.

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And they added that though the tree might only be 6ft at the moment it would “continue to grow year after year.”

Hannah Roberts, the cabinet member for neighbourhoods, said the authority agreed to fund the tree due to sustainability and environmental reasons.

She also claimed the tree was "the largest recommended" and was taller than 6ft.

She said: “More communities are opting for living trees, although small to start with they are more environmentally friendly, and have paid for themselves after two years.

"The tree is the largest recommended – it is more than 6ft high and will get bigger as it grows.

"Bigger trees run to thousands of pounds and are far less likely to successfully take to their new location.

"The costs quoted include the purchase and delivery of the tree. It also covers excavation work carried out by council staff as specialist equipment had to be used so an irrigation pipe and electrical extension could be fitted.

"Hopefully, the tree will take quickly and grow and mature in the years to come. As the tree grows the plan is to expand the lights display."

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