A CHRISTMAS tradition will be abandoned this year - because too many people are feeling the pinch.

For the last six years Andy and David Cole have run the 'Sponsor a Bulb' campaign on behalf of the High Street Committee in Wombwell.

Residents usually pay a pound to sponsor a Christmas light bulb are entered into a prize draw.

But David, of Cole Bros Café, said the committee was abandoning the scheme this year as he can no longer bring himself to ask people for their money.

He said: "There are always people who will give you whatever money they have for a good cause and Wombwell has always been really good for that.

"But I know how short I am at the moment and I don't want to make people around here even shorter.

"There are people who have been coming here for 18 years who've recently lost jobs, whose husbands have lost jobs and whose kids can't get a job. I just can't ask them for a pound now."

He added if anybody did wish to make a donation, they could do so in the café.

However, he said people don't need to worry about the lights as the committee was in the process of securing alternative funding for next month's switch-on.

Last year the number of Christmas lights were reduced by half and replaced with older lights after the committee had a 50 per cent cut in its funding from the council's community support fund.

This fund is now the devolved ward budget for the South Area Council, which is composed of councillors from Wombwell, Hoyland Milton and Rockingham wards.