In the dark over street light switch-off
It is with utter disbelief that I write to you regarding the latest Warwickshire County Council cost saving scheme.
I refer of course to the switching off of street lighting or “part-night lighting” in the Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth areas which came into effect on December 1, despite it originally being planned for April 2013.
The scheme apparently is hoped to save £500,000 per year but has already cost some £1.64 million to implement because of the initial outlay for the ‘Telensa PLANet Central Management’ system which controls the street lighting, so unfortunately there is an immediate deficit with a minimum three year pay-back.
Under this, so-called, current cost saving scheme, which has already cost £1.64 million, street lights are turned off from midnight to 5.30am, thus plunging the suburbs into almost complete darkness in the middle of winter and at the start of the festive party season. One can only marvel at the incompetence and lack of foresight which has been bestowed upon the people who are making these decisions and are trusted to spend our council tax wisely in these austere times. It is not enough that we now have to put up with fortnightly refuse collections but we now also have to endure navigating the streets of Warwick, Leamington and Kenilworth in darkness after midnight.
Surely, with these cut backs, there must be some cost saving which can be passed on to the long suffering council tax payer or are we expected to accept that this as being for our benefit. Unfortunately one has to look no further than Warwick High Street for evidence of how any savings are squandered by the local authority. After months of disruption and many thousands of pounds spent on traffic management alterations, there is no benefit and absolutely no improvement to a congested town centre.
Although the “part-night lighting” may not result directly in an increase to the crime statistics it does nothing to instil confidence in residents and anybody who has no alternative but to use the streets in the early hours whether leaving home for an early start or retuning home from a night shift. The threat of crime has certainly increased.
One can only speculate as to the real reason for these ill-conceived ‘cost saving’ measures but unfortunately there seems to be less of a benefit to the council taxpayer but possibly more of a means of subsidising and safeguarding the coveted public sector pensions. - Graham Humphriss, Cordelia Green, Heathcote,Warwick.
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Weather for Leamington
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: West