TRADERS are gutted their Christmas tree was left “naked” after Bournemouth Council refused to light it on cost and safety grounds.

The 10-ft tall tree has been put up in Pokesdown outside Seabournes pub on Christchurch Road, but is looking very unfestive.

Cllr Linda Bailey arranged for the tree and said the council told her running a power supply from the car park near Dolphin Mews would not be safe.

She added: “I think we can put tinsel on it though.

Boscombe West has had trees and lights for years so it’s great we have finally got something in Boscombe East.”

Caroline Read, the director of Scribe Tattooing, near Pokesdown train station, said: “We are chuffed to have one after 10 years’ campaigning but it looks rather ridiculous.

“We are now thinking about doing a bit of guerrilla decorating.”

Landlord Dave Wells, who donated the tree, said: “It’s a shame. There must be a power supply to the council car parking machines.

“It’s a bit mean. We would provide the lights, we just need somewhere for a power supply.”

Pokesdown resident Sue McKenna, 41, said: “We have now got this naked Christmas tree. It looks very sad.”

Chris Hardy, Bournemouth Council project manager, said: “We are sympathetic to the Pokesdown community. However, this was only brought to our attention two weeks ago.

“To plan and install a power supply would take several weeks, with a cost of approximately £1,000.”