DELAYED maintenance work to the front of a Highworth newsagents has left a local councillor furious as he fears it will be an eyesore during the festive period.

Keith Smith complained about the scaffolding on McColl’s which currently covers the entrance to the shop, and the window near the entrance that was boarded up after it was smashed in May.

The scaffolding has been there for months and it is feared that the shopfront will remain in this condition throughout the winter.

Speaking as a concerned resident, Keith was angry that the developers in charge of carrying out the work had left it so late.

It has disrupted part of the plans for Highworth’s Christmas decorations as lights cannot be hung on the shop’s exterior.

Furthermore, no Christmas trees can be placed on the balcony above the entrance to match the line of trees on balconies above other shopfronts on the High Street.

Lights have been put up inside the shop’s window but are hidden from view by the board.

Keith said: “It’s an utter disgrace.

“It’s disgusting and it’s brought the quality of the town down.

“This major maintenance work was supposed to start in September but we’re about to turn the Christmas lights on and it still has not started.

“I spoke to their customer services department and they said the work in Highworth hadn’t started due to the ‘bad weather’. What bad weather?

“It’s ugly and it spoils the look of our High Street.”

This matter was raised during a Highworth Town Council meeting on Tuesday evening and other councillors nodded in agreement when Keith voiced his complaints.

The Christmas lights in Highworth will be switched on at 7pm on Friday, with the Girl Guides and Scouts groups performing a lantern parade down the High Street before the switch-on.

Festive activities will be on offer from 6.20pm and some shops will be open late.

A McColl’s spokesperson said: “We are due to start some work on improving the look and feel of the McColl’s on Highworth’s High Street next week.

“The scaffolding will be up for a short period.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused while we improve your local store.”