ST HELENS Council has promised that the Christmas tree in the town centre will be replaced due to it being substandard. 

Photographs of the tree at Church Square were circulated on social media, with some residents describing it as a “laughing stock”.

One posted: “I’ve got a better tree in my loft and it’s over 30 years old”.

The local authority said that the tree “does not meet our standards” and promised that it would soon be replaced.

The council says such large trees are not grown locally and the first chance it gets to see them is when they are delivered and put in place by suppliers.

When the tree arrived a swift decision was taken that it need to be replaced.

St Helens Star: The Christmas treeThe Christmas tree (Image: Sam Thompson)

A St Helens Borough Council spokesman said: “We know many people are very passionately proud of our borough just like we are, and expect things to look just right. 

"We are in the process of receiving our Christmas trees for the borough from our supplier and with such large trees needed for our town centres these are not grown locally so the first chance we have to see the trees is when they are in location.

"However it is clear that this tree does not meet our standards and we have taken action today to ensure that both this tree and the tree in Victoria Square will be replaced within the next 48 hours. This will be completed with no additional cost to the council and in good time for our official Christmas lights switch on which takes place on November 26.” 

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The council said it has secured sponsorship for Christmas trees and new tree lights for the borough's town centres this year.

The local authority had faced criticism from some quarters last year for the standard of its town centre Christmas trees, particularly the one in Church Square.