A crowdfunding website has been set up to raise money for a Christmas tree that was struck from the council budget.

Councillors and campaigners are calling on businesses to help contribute towards the £3,000 needed for a tree in George Green in Wanstead.

The £7,000 figure originally cited was last year’s figure for a tree and lights but councillors said lights for the high street are already provided for this year.

Anyone can contribute on the crowdfunder.co.uk page and there are a number of incentives for people to get involved.

Giving over £25 will enter people into a draw to help turn on the Christmas lights, over £50 will mean the donor’s name is added to a bauble to be placed on the tree.

Giving over £100 will add the donor’s name to a roll of honour list displayed next to the tree and over £500 a space next to the tree will be given to display their company’s name or logo.

The tree, which is erected on the last Friday of November every year, will no longer be funded by Redbridge council.

Each year the Mayor of Redbridge attends a ceremony, along with hundreds of schoolchildren, to turn on the Christmas lights in Wanstead, but without funding this will not go ahead.

Both Conservative councillors and campaigners bemoaned the withdrawal of funding, saying Labour had effectively cancelled Christmas in Wanstead.

Conservative Cllr Colin Cronin said: "We're all aware of the cuts facing this council over the coming four years.

"However this tree fund shows the willingness of residents and local businesses in Snaresbrook and Wanstead to work together to protect community assets.”

Wes Streeting, deputy leader of Redbridge council, responded to criticism by saying the decision to take funding away was purely financial, but backed the campaign to raise money.

Donate to the cause here.