SWINDON’S seasonal spruce hasn’t got everybody in the festive spirit.

The 49ft Christmas tree that now adorns the Magic Roundabout was first suggested by a taxi driver before being taken up by the leader of the council, Rod Bluh.

But the yuletide fir, which went up on Wednesday evening, has been slammed by one cabbie as an embarrassment to the town.

“It’s rubbish,” said Hackney cab driver Nathan Blake.

“If that’s the best that Swindon can do then I think we should all be embarrassed.

“What is the point of doing a job if you’re going to do it that badly? Don’t get me wrong – the tree is nice. It’s fat at the bottom, thin at the top – just like it should be, and they’ve managed to put it up the right way round.

“But what happened to the lights? It looks like someone has just gone up on a cherry picker and chucked them across. It’s an absolute embarrassment.

“When I took a passenger down there I actually felt ashamed.

“When you look at what they’ve done on Marlborough High Street it absolutely puts Swindon in the shade.

“Those decorations make you want to go for a pint and get in the Christmas spirit – I don’t know what sort of spirit that tree is supposed to put you in.

“There are normal, everyday houses around the town that have done a better job than the council at putting Christmas lights up.

“And we haven’t even seen the state it’s going to be in after Saturday night, when everyone is swinging off it like Tarzan.

“It looks like Rod Bluh wants everyone to have a blue Christmas in his name.”

Swindon’s most talked about tree had a difficult birth – on the first attempt to put it up on Sunday morning the concrete base supporting it cracked and the operation had to be abandoned.

A series of doom-laden prophecies from Labour’s transport spokesman Coun Derique Montaut followed, including a warning that football hooligans could see it as a target.

His criticisms have landed Coun Montaut with the moniker Scrooge, but his offer to the council leader to dress up in the role if Coun Bluh would switch on the lights dressed as Santa was rebuffed.

Coun Montaut said that after all the hype he found the tree underwhelming.

He said: “I was disappointed, but not in a negative way.

“This was something that was supposed to ignite the Christmas spirit in Swindonians, but I think they way it’s been decorated makes it very difficult to do that.

“I also think there are other areas in the town centre where it could have had more of an effect.”

But Coun Bluh said he was delighted by the end result at the lighting up ceremony.

He said: “It is good to see that the tree is finally up.

“We had a massive amount of emails about this and a lot of support. It is great to do something festive.

“Now all that is left is to work out what we are going to do here permanently.”