THE council and owner of the business which supplies the official Christmas Trees to St Helens have both addressed residents' concerns.

Every year Christmas Trees appear in town and city centres across the globe to celebrate the festive season.

In St Helens, the trees which have recently been delivered to Victoria Square and in Church Square in the town centre have come under scrutiny from residents who have taken to social media to voice their concerns and criticisms.

This follows criticism last year when the trees provided were replaced due to being 'substandard'.

This year, the trees, which are paid for privately and are placed throughout the borough, have been supplied by St Helens businessman Richard Rainford, of Rainford’s Christmas Tree Land.

Addressing the concerns, a spokesperson for St Helens Council said: “We take great care when selecting our Christmas trees and great pride in working with such a long-standing local business as Rainford’s to supply them.

“And we feel that work has paid off, resulting in some great looking trees that will get us all in the festive spirit once we add the decorative lights.

“Over the next couple of days, the trees will settle further having been tightly wrapped up for travel and installation, before receiving a minor trim and tidy in preparation for decorating, together with new cross street features and other lighting decorations for both town centres.

“Our local installers will continue to spend the next week working incredibly hard, through evening and night, to fit these lighting features in advance of the exciting and much anticipated switch-on events.

“We know that town centre businesses and visitors really value the provision of high-quality festive decorations, which help to drive custom through this important trading period, and so we are delighted that we can continue to help the local economy not only through Christmas trees and lighting in our streets but also through decorations and features in our shopping centres.”

Richard Rainford, Owner of Rainford’s Christmas Tree Land, added: “We’re very proud to provide the borough’s trees as we’re St Helens born and bred, it’s great to support our home town.

“We begin the process of picking the trees in late summer, marking the trees we’ll likely harvest from here on the farm, with our biggest trees grown in Scotland.

“We get a lot of feedback here in the shop saying how good our trees look, and we’re really pleased with this year’s.

“St Helens Borough Council is one of our best customers, providing a tree for every ward so that all residents can enjoy them, and it’s great that they’re supporting local businesses like ours.”