A street light is a simple thing – Wrong

Last Friday morning I met with a group of residents from one estate in Lakenheath whom I have been in regular contact with; essentially they are not happy with the Suffolk County Council policy to turn off street lights after midnight.

As a cabinet member I voted for the policy on cost and carbon reduction grounds, and I am pleased to say, since its introduction, I have had virtually no negative feedback with only the occasional request to turn lights on all night  back on all night in isolated spots, such as alley’s etc. but here was the first group who have objected.

Over the years I am aware that street light are a complex issue and I never could quite get my head around why some were county and some parish. So before the meeting I had asked a great number of questions of officers and uncovered that what I thought was a strange set up is far more complex than even I could imagine and discovered a very complex situation.

Of course their suggestion was to spend more money but their concerns about crime whilst not proven or realised, as there has not been a crime in their estate since the policy came in, nonetheless I promised to talk with officers, review their suggestions and see what I could do.

Being me I had arranged to then go on to see the Parish Council Chairman and the Parish Clerk and discuss the complete mis-mash of who owns which street lights. The historic mess is that all three tiers of local government are responsible and liable for different street light with absolutely no logical criteria other than history! The Parish sets aside money to replace but the notion of parish taking over the street lights or the District or the County brings into question the replacement liability as they fail both bulbs and columns and how that money shifts around, one hour later we did not have a workable solution for me to take back to officers, I think this one will be logner term project!

There is no doubt that there needs to be a local government solution to this very complex issue as it is quite ridiculously complex, they are just street lights, but in this one issue you can see all the complexity of local government!

About askcolinnoble
I'm a Conservative politician-lite, I dabble a bit in Party Politics with my main focus of working hard and being a strong voice for my community making sure local government delivers quality services and fellow residents get value for money for their hard earned money they pay in Council tax | Where this Gravatar appears and I am expressing my views or liking something I do so in a personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of Suffolk County Council, Forest Heath District Council, the Conservative Party or come to think of it anyone else | But having said the above at an election time and to stay legal anything I write is promoted by Kerry Buist on behalf of Colin Noble, both at West Suffolk Conservative Association, Unit 8, Swan Lane Business Park, Exning, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7FN

One Response to A street light is a simple thing – Wrong

  1. Mr. M Tompsett says:

    Have I missed something or was there a notice advising about the changes to street lighting, surely it cannot be right for a unilateral decision on such subject without advise. I am referring to recent changes noticed not long term ones

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