Councils stand fast on street light switch-off

Streetlights on Bradley Stoke Way

Local Councils have once again decided to ignore every single complaint received from residents in connection with the part-night street lighting recently introduced in Bradley Stoke.

Last night’s meeting of the Town Council heard that 35 comments and complaints, relating to 25 individual streets, have been received by the Council since the scheme was introduced in April this year. Topping the list is Pursey Drive (4 complaints), followed closely by The Worthys (3).

According to the Council, the comments and complaints received fall into the following categories:

  • Lack of consultation
  • Increased crime and anti-social behaviour
  • Health and safety
  • Confusion over switching times

A  meeting attended by officers from the Town Council and South Gloucestershire Council on 17th August is said to have considered all 35 complaints and agreed that “appropriate responses had [already] been made”, concluding that “there [is] no statistical evidence to support the complaints at this time.”

A formal review of crime and traffic accident statistics is promised for January next year.

Prior to its introduction, a public consultation on the proposed scheme was carried out by the Town Council from October to December 2010. A total of 153 responses were received, with 83 agreeing to the scheme as proposed (without alteration); 26 respondents were against the scheme, while a further 36 indicated support in general subject to specific amendments being made.

Mayor Ben Walker says he personally considered all the comments made by members of the public during the initial consultation but in the end chose to recommend that the scheme be implemented as originally proposed, and this was ratified by Council in January 2011.

The Council came under fire over the street light switch-off at July’s meeting of the Bradley Stoke Safer and Stronger Community Group, where many residents demanded that the lights be turned back on in their streets.

Councillor Edward Rose, Bradley Stoke

The same meeting heard a newly-elected Town Councillor, Ed Rose, make the astonishing claim that switching off street lights violated residents’ human rights. The newbie Councillor embarrassed the Mayor, who was sitting next to him, by demanding that the lights be switched back on because residents have a right to “liberty and security” and “protection from discrimination”.

Cllr Rose has now been absent without apology at all three Council meetings that he should have attended since his outburst in July.

More info: Minutes from the Part-Night Street Lighting meeting on 17th August 2011 and Frequently Asked Questions about the scheme [PDF, 2.4MB]

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  1. Is there a typo in the first paragraph? Shouldn’t it read “Local Councils have decided to continue with the part-night street lighting recently introduced in Bradley Stoke, whilst acknowledging that there have been a small number of complaints.”?

  2. Or … “Local Councils once again went through the motions of a ‘consultation’ when they had absolutely no intention of changing any aspects of the proposed/implemented scheme.”

    Show me an example of where one of these sham consultations has resulted in anything more than cosmetic changes to whatever is being proposed.

  3. A very amusing article indeed and thank you for the prism overview. The Town Council represent the people up to South Gloucester County Council, which was done. The matter of how done and where and when is with SGCC authority to deal with. The motion was NOT attacking the original scheme, which was made very clear. The aspect of consideration was for a local street that asked for lights to be left on. At no time was there any fallout in the unity of Bradley Stoke Town Council in conducting it’s duties or at any personal level and there is no rebel in the midst whatsoever. I work shifts and clearly it is not possible to attend all meetings, but clearly still work on motions and discussions in the background. If the Editor would like to apologise for making assumptions, such will be accepted.

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