COCKERMOUTH Town Council was divided over plans to keep the town's tree lights on after the festive period to brighten up the town on winter nights.

The Chamber of Trade was keen to explore the feasibility and cost of keeping the white LED tree lights on in January and February.

If it was not too expensive, they were prepared to fund this.

But town councillors voted 4-3 against keeping the lights on at a recent meeting.

Councillor Alan Smith said: "From November to January the town looks really good with all the lights, then when we knock them off it's like we've switched the town off.

"I think it's a good idea to keep them on."

"It makes Cockermouth look more welcoming and adds to the ambience," said mayor Julie Laidlow.

"I think we should look into the cost."

Councillor Grace Bennion said: "I think it would help boost the night-time economy."

Town clerk Sheila Brown said: "The problem is the system we had a few years ago is no longer in place.

"There are 14 different devices on the street, it's going to take quite a lot of work just to get a price."

Councillor Alan Kennon raised concerns about wasting electricity.

"Are we green or not green?" he said.

"The new cable is all plastic coated."