THE arrival of a town's civic Christmas tree has caused a social media storm of protest.

The brown and dying branches of the fir provoked residents of Accrington to take to Facebook to complain.

And Spring Hill Labour councillor Kimberley Whitehead asked: "Is this Britain’s Saddest Christmas Tree?"

The giant tree arrived in Accrington Town Square at the weekend in time for Thursday's Christmas Lights Switch on.

Facebook comments included: "I think everyone everybody involved in picking the tree that would justify Accrington town have chosen extremely well …tired …broken …limp …depressing …and virtually on its knees …just like the town itself."

Other comments said: 'That tree abysmal I am disappointed in the council' and 'Is this the best tree they could find? It’s half dead !!'.

Reform UK's Wayne Fitzharris said: "What a disgrace. Someone picked up last years tree from Whinney Hill tip ?"

Cllr Whitehead said: "The Labour group are receiving a large amount of correspondence in relation to the depressing state of the Christmas tree that has been erected on Accrington Town Square.

"One resident asked if it was part of the councils Green Agenda to recycle last year's tree.

"It looks horrendous. Our residents deserve better.

"I have asked the council, led by the Conservative coalition. for an immediate replacement."

A Hyndburn Council spokeswoman said: “Often during storage and transportation real Christmas trees can need a little TLC.

"Upon arrival this year’s tree for Accrington Town Square did require some pruning.

"This was done the same day by our fantastic parks team and we hope residents agree it looks much better now it has settled in.

"We are looking forward to seeing it filled with colour at the Accrington Lights Switch on this Thursday and seeing the tree as a centre piece for the festive markets taking place over the coming weekends too.

"Our Market Hall will also be hosting festive decorations this year, with a large tree filled with decorations from local school children.”

Cllr Whitehead said: "It’s now been pruned so there’s some improvement. "

Former Clayton-le-Moors Labour councillor Tim O'Kane: "There’s a healthier tree been erected in Chernobyl since 2019 because Zelensky thought it important that people get used to a return to some sense of normality."