BARNSLEY Council have disputed claims that they’re charging a local cricket club almost double to put up their Christmas lights - and instead say they’ve quoted them less than usual.

During the pandemic, Higham Cricket Club came up with the idea of purchasing festive lighting for the village to lift residents’ spirits.

They’ve spent almost £10,000 over the last three years, but after receiving an ‘excessive’ quote by Barnsley Council who usually help with setting up the lighting - they’ve been left with no other option than to stop the scheme.

Dan Bamforth, the club’s COO, told the Chronicle: “In the past three years through purchase of lighting and installation costs presented to us by Barnsley Council, we have spent around £9,500 on this initiative.

“This splits roughly 50/50 between the cost of the lights and what we have been charged to put them up.

“The cost of installation is extremely excessive.

“I put together an outline of what I believe the council costs to actually be, taking into consideration their council operative wages, energy consumed by each light and any additional equipment the council would require.

“This figure is around £1,400 less than what has been quoted to us and I’m really struggling to see why their price is so inflated.

“It’s a really disappointing situation.

“Despite our best efforts, it’s meant that unfortunately we have decided to not put the festive lighting up this year.”

However, the council have claimed they have actually quoted the club less than what they did last year.

Coun James Higginbottom, cabinet spokesperson for environment and highways, said: “We’re aware of an inaccurate statement regarding the cost of the installation for the Christmas motifs in Higham.

“Our street lighting team have discussed this year’s charges with Higham Cricket Club.

” I am pleased to report that - despite an increase in the cost of materials - our quote is £113 less than last year, to provide a reasonable and affordable price for the club.”