COUNCIL Scrooges are set to cancel Christmas in a Midland town to save more than £1 million.

Bosses at Redditch Borough Council, in Worcestershire, have drawn up shocking plans to pull the plug on Christmas lights and decorations for the next three years.

The lights, which are paid for by the taxpayer, have proved to be a favourite over the years, bringing a festive sparkle to the outdoor market, shopping centre and streets surrounding the town’s St Stephen’s Church.

But if the plans gets the green light Redditch will be void of Christmas spirit in the busiest shopping period of the year.

Last night, the local authority was accused of being “killjoys” intent on axing the town’s most popular council-funded events.

A spokeswoman for the West Midlands branch of the

Taxpayers Alliance said: “People in Redditch are going to have a miserable Christmas if these ridiculous plans go through.

“Christmas is a time that should bring everyone together so axing the lights is really a bad idea.

“There are plenty of other ways that the cash can be saved.

“Local councils spent thousands on glossy leaflets and magazines pushed through letter boxes when nobody really wants them.

“And the amount of money that is spent on middle-management now is huge.

“The council should reconsider their proposals and look at trimming the fat in these other areas.

“There is no need to cancel such popular and traditional celebrations.

“Christmas lights are one of the most popular ways of using council taxpayers’ money.”

In a triple whammy of cuts the council will also put an end to Guy Fawkes night celebrations and scrap the popular winter ice skating rink that was piloted for the first time last year.

In total, Redditch Borough Council will save £35,000 each year  by axing the festive lights.

And nearly £50,000 will be saved by scrapping the fireworks display at the Arrow Valley Country Park, which sees thousands of families descend on the town for the area’s biggest bonfire night extravaganza.

The ice-rink cost the local authority £30,000 last year, but it will not return unless there is a commercial sponsor.

Conservative Council Leader Carole Gandy, said: “There is no getting away from the fact that we need to save £800,000 next year and a further £300,000 after that.

“We have come up with a list of proposals for areas where we can save the money.

“The Christmas lights and fireworks celebrations were one of the areas we all believed we could do without.

“But I must stress these are only proposals at the moment and in the end it is up to the people in the town to decide.

“We will review the situation after a public consultation and we will come to a final decision .”

It is believed the proposed council cuts will mean just five jobs will be at risk at the local authority in the next financial year.