Still questions to be answered on lights
Cllr Ashford (Postbag last week) accuses us of using inaccurate information to question the decision to turn off 80 per cent of street lights after midnight.
The figures we used were supplied by a senior officer in the county treasurer’s department. “... I can confirm that the estimated cost, to the county council, of borrowing £1.64 million is £131,200 a year. This cost covers the estimated cost of principal and interest repayments, which average out at 8 per cent per annum”.
Subsequent correspondence confirmed the additional annual maintenance cost of the new equipment as £80,000 at current prices.
If Cllr Ashford disputes these figures he ought at least to say what his source is and why they are to be taken as more authoritative than ours. In any case, the fact that different figures are apparently being used to evaluate and justify this policy rather highlights the uncertainties surrounding it and calls into question the validity of the task and finish group’s efforts.
We’re told that the police and WCC safety team have been consulted. Presumably, they were furnished with detailed plans in order to reach an informed decision; why weren’t local councillors consulted at the same time? The recent Localism Bill makes much of “empowering communities” and councillors being local champions but we have yet to receive an assurance that our comments will make any difference at all. On the contrary, our clear understanding is that the plans are already being implemented and the equipment installed.
Where is the evidence that streets will actually be safer if unlit? Why isn’t the county council investing in the latest high intensity LED technology as neighbouring authorities are doing? What about, for example, having at least a street light on every junction?
There are a host of unanswered questions surrounding this plan and we again urge anyone concerned about it to attend their next community forum to demand answers.
See “http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/communityforums” for details.
The next South Leamington forum is on Monday July 2 at the Sydni Centre. - Tim Naylor, county councillor, Leamington Willes (Labour), Penny Bould, county councillor, Leamington Brunswick (Labour).
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Weather for Leamington
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 13 C to 23 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 12 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 9 mph
Wind direction: North east