HOMEOWNERS in Newent were lauded for their creativity in putting together energy-efficient festive displays for the town’s annual Christmas Home Decoration Competition.

The town council-run competition had fewer entries this year, which was attributed to people needing to cut back on their energy usage due to the cost of living crisis.

And those who did enter decorated their homes in ways that didn’t involve breaking the bank by using tonnes of mains electricity.

That meant fewer lights displays and more decorated windows, bunting, garden features and home-made sculptures.

Councillor Mrs Karen Draper, chair of the town’s Christmas Lights Committee, said: “I was thrilled the council agreed to run the competition again.

“Particularly as we tried to encourage minimal mains electric displays, to reflect the current energy and cost of living situation.”

Some of the entrants instead opted to use solar lighting for their displays as a cheaper alternative to mains electric, which was commended by the judges.

Cllr Draper added: “My co-judge and I really enjoyed seeing the displays and were very impressed with the extremely high standard.”

This year was the fourth in succession that the council has organised the competition.

While an emphasis was put on using less mains electric this year, the organisers still felt there was scope to be “incredibly festive” and were impressed by the effort and creativity of those who entered.

Taking first prize in the competition was Aaron George and family of Foley Road.

A council spokesperson said of their winning display: “They impressed the judges with their array of solar lights, Christmas characters and handmade textile creations.”

There was a prize for the winners – a bag full of “useful gadgets and festive goodies”, kindly donated by MKM Building Supplies of Newent.

The spokesperson added: “The Town Council would like to thank those who took the time to enter the energy-efficient competition and to everyone who is providing much needed sparkle and festive cheer across the neighbourhoods.”