THE placement of Darwen’s Christmas tree outside the market hall where remembrance services will be held to mark the centenary of Armistice Day has been slammed as “disrespectful”.

Town councillor Paul Browne said the installation should have been delayed until after the weekend given the poignancy of the occasion.

But council bosses stress the tree was delivered to the wrong location by contractors and added it will be moved prior to the weekend's services.

The tree was delivered yesterday and placed outside the market hall, where services commemorating the centenary of the end of the First World War will be held.

Cllr Browne said: “I am disappointed that the Christmas tree is outside the market hall when we’ve got the remembrance service on Sunday.

“It shows no respect whatsoever to the occasion and it is taking up a lot of room at the moment.

“The borough council should have waited until after the weekend to have the tree installed.

“We have got three services there this weekend and it is going to impact every one of them if it stays there.”

A Blackburn with Darwen Council spokesman said yesterday the tree had been delivered by contractors but would be moved so as not to impact on remembrance services.

But this morning, the tree remains outside the market hall.

Cllr Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s executive member for regeneration and growth, said: “Unfortunately, the contractors who provided the tree delivered it to the wrong spot on Wednesday.

“Our officers raised this straight away and have arranged for it to be moved to a more appropriate place before the Remembrance events take place.

“The council has worked hard to help organise poignant tributes to mark Remembrance Sunday and 100 years since the end of the First World War.

“Where the tree was placed was completely out of our control and we have worked really hard to get the issue resolved as quickly as possible.”

Darwen’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War will start at 6am on November 11 as lone piper plays ‘Battles Over’ and other laments at the town’s Heritage Centre

At 6.40pm Gordon Smith will take up his bagpipes again to lead a walk from Heritage Centre to Darwen Town Hall before at 7pm a centenary remembrance beacon is lit by Cllr Roy Davies, Mayor of the town council.

At 7.05pm the bells of St. Peters Church will ring 1,302 times (once for each Darwen resident who died in the conflict).

The ceremony will end at 7.25pm after a prayer of peace and the singing of 'Abide with me' led by Darwen Unity Choir and the presentation of a book of honour produced by town historian Tony Foster.