An Emailed response from Conservative portfolio holder, Cllr Rodney Bass, on the issue of part night street lighting has raised concerns among Labour councillors that plans may be under way for more lights to be turned off.
Ivan Henderson had drawn Cllr Bass’ attention to an incident in Dovercourt where a resident believed an attempt to break into his garage had occurred because of the turning off of a street light that illuminated it. Ivan had reminded Cllr Bass of his statement that crime figures reduced in areas where the lights were switched off and how this incident called that statement into question. Remarkably, Cllr Bass replied with the single sentence,
‘I do not believe that this is a justification for street lights which are to facilitate road safety to remain on all night.’
Ivan was shocked by the response as throughout the period of implementation of the Conservatives’ part night street lighting policy they had stated that street lights would remain on in areas covered by publicly funded CCTV, areas around banks and building societies and areas identified as crime hotspots by the police.
Ivan Henderson says, “The Conservatives made exemptions of areas where crime was a key consideration and the majority of the places where the lights remain on fall into this category. Suddenly, Cllr Bass is moving the goalposts and suggesting that road safety is the only criteria.”
This shift in Cllr Bass’ previously stated position is so dramatic and so sudden Labour fears that having switched off the majority of our street lights at night the Conservatives at County Hall are now seeking to turn off even more by insisting that only the lights required for road safety purposes need to stay on.
“I am very concerned that Cllr Bass has let the cat out of the bag with his response to me and that the plan is to plunge our town centres into darkness as well,” continued Ivan Henderson. “If public opinion means anything to the Conservatives at County Hall then they should be planning to turn the lights back on rather than planning to turn more of them off.”
For further information please contact
Ivan Henderson on 07889 367822