Robin Parker’s letter to the Editor of Stevenage Comet regarding switching off street lights
With reference to the continuing street light switch off, your correspondent Christine Wilson (Comet Letters, 5. April) asks ‘Who made the decision to turn off our lights anyway?’ I can supply the facts.
The vast majority of street lights and other lit highways items in Hertfordshire, including Stevenage, are the responsibility of Conservative dominated Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) and not Stevenage Borough Council (SBC) – which may explain why SBC supplied no response to her, although I would have expected that they would refer her to HCC. The switch off was done by the Tories at HCC in 2012 and, with a few exceptions, covers all HCC lights.
As the main opposition party at HCC, the Liberal Democrats opposed the switch off, and we have tried many times since to get it reversed or to have some flexibility in lighting, according to the very different expressed needs of different parts of Hertfordshire. Towns such as Stevenage generally need more night time light than some country areas, for example.
HCC’s rules state that the only decision individual county councillors have in the matter is that, if they list and identify by number every single footpath (not pavement) light in their division, for the engineers, then they will leave the footpath lights on all night. I did this in 2012, and it is why all the footpath lights in my Chells Division should all be on all night.
So the people to blame for the continuing street light switch off are the people who voted Tory – i.e. voted for the switch off – at the HCC elections in 2009, 2013, and 2017.
County Councillor for Chells Division
Borough Councillor for Manor Ward