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Last Updated: Wednesday, 15 December, 2004, 06:12 GMT
Christmas lights spark legal row
Kim Henderson
Mrs Henderson says she was raising cash for charity
A council has pulled the plug on a woman's efforts to raise cash for charity by showing off her array of Christmas lights.

Kim Henderson has draped her Middlesbrough home and gardens with displays featuring thousands of lights.

She wanted to attract visitors in the hope they would make donations to two hospice charities.

But council bosses have accused her of breaking the law by placing cardboard signs directing people to her house.

She placed three small handwritten signs on nearby roads directing potential visitors to her cul-de-sac home in the Marton area of the town.

But Middlesbrough Council says it will not tolerate Mrs Henderson's actions.

Garden display of Kim Henderson
Mrs Henderson's garden is full of festive characters

A council spokesman said: "It's illegal to place signs which divert traffic. They are unauthorised, they are illegal and that is the end of the matter.

"The danger of unilaterally deciding that you are going to divert a large number of vehicles into a residential area, is that you will get noise, pollution and it's very dangerous.

"The time of year is entirely irrelevant. It's a dangerous thing to do."

But Mrs Henderson said: "I'm not advertising a business, a nightclub or anything like that.

"I'm advertising for charity to raise money and not for myself."

She said the lights were in aid of Teesside Hospice at the James Cook Hospital and Care for the Bereaved.

Mrs Henderson, who has already raised more than 1,000, has removed the signs and is trying alternative methods of publicising her charity efforts.




SEE ALSO:
Hate mail for 'tacky' Xmas lights
12 Dec 04 |  Gloucestershire
Village enjoys lights spectacle
12 Dec 04 |  Cornwall


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