Tories looking to pay County Hall to switch on street lights in Castle Point

Lights call – councillors Norman Ladzrie, Peter Burch and Simon Hart with Pat Haunts, Jay Blissett and Denise Lambert

Lights call – councillors Norman Ladzrie, Peter Burch and Simon Hart with Pat Haunts, Jay Blissett and Denise Lambert

First published in News

CASTLE Point Council’s Tory group is considering paying County Hall to turn the borough’s street lights back on.

Conservative councillors have floated the idea of offering Essex County Council the amount it expects to save locally with its controversial midnight to 5am switch-off.

The turn-off has sparked widespread public anger, with 1,000 people signing a petition calling for Castle Point’s lights to go back on.

County Hall expects to save £64,000 a year by turning off lights in the borough, £59,000 in the Rochford district and £222,000 in the borough of Basildon.

Tory Castle Point councillors are considering dipping into financial reserves to get the lights back on.

Bill Sharp, councillor for St James’ ward, said: “We have had so many complaints about the lights going out, so we’re asking exactly how much, as a borough council, can we offer to pay. I think it’s about £64,000.

“We know it is not our remit, but it is our responsibility to do what residents want. If we need to spend money to improve the safety of residents then we are willing to do that.

“We already have a lot of support on Facebook and Twitter from residents.”

Mr Sharp said the group was also considering possible legal action against the county council over the issue.

Tory deputy council leader Jeffrey Stanley, who is also councillor responsible for corporate policy, resources and performance, said: “Councillors are clearly upset Essex County Council has decided to turn off the street lights.

The system doesn’t appear to be working well.

“As a Conservative group, we are seeing if there is anything we can do, locally, to encourage the county council to turn the lights back on.

“A lot of figures are being banded about, but we are going to find out if we have the power to pay for it. We hope it would be an incentive for the county council to look at other solutions, such as low-energy lighting.

“The main thing is we are determined to exert pressure on the council so we get lights back on.”

Fellow Conservative Andrew Sheldon said he would be be approaching the county council’s Tory leader, and asking Castle Point officials to prepare a report on the options.

Before the lights went out in January 12, Castle Point campaigners presented a petition to County Hall objecting to the plans.

Since then, only key junctions and town centres have been lit after midnight.

Comments (11)

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11:39am Fri 14 Mar 14

woolstone says...

Hope Rochford council is going to reconsider the street lights being switch back on. It is a real pain for people that have to be out after midnight because of their jobs.
Hope Rochford council is going to reconsider the street lights being switch back on. It is a real pain for people that have to be out after midnight because of their jobs. woolstone
  • Score: 15

11:55am Fri 14 Mar 14

Idontknowy says...

Its a real pain for everybody. It wouldn't be quite so bad if paths and roads were maintained properly
Its a real pain for everybody. It wouldn't be quite so bad if paths and roads were maintained properly Idontknowy
  • Score: 13

12:08pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Ian P says...

"CASTLE Point Council’s Tory group is considering paying County Hall to turn the borough’s street lights back on". I understand why this is being proposed, but why should the council taxpayers of Castle Point pay ECC twice for street lighting? ECC has already had the money to keep the lights on, because there was no mention of turning lights off when the current level of council tax was set. What they have done is to charge us for full lighting, supplied partial lighting and then kept the savings.
"CASTLE Point Council’s Tory group is considering paying County Hall to turn the borough’s street lights back on". I understand why this is being proposed, but why should the council taxpayers of Castle Point pay ECC twice for street lighting? ECC has already had the money to keep the lights on, because there was no mention of turning lights off when the current level of council tax was set. What they have done is to charge us for full lighting, supplied partial lighting and then kept the savings. Ian P
  • Score: 25

12:10pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Chris Flunk says...

If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it.

Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile.
If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it. Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile. Chris Flunk
  • Score: -23

3:48pm Fri 14 Mar 14

BenfleetH says...

Why haven't they trialed low energy lighting before turning all the lights off - they would be able to see a benefit financially and still keep everyone happy, why are we even paying council tax? Ridiculous.

I did not enjoy driving home the other weekend in the pitch black, nor do I think its safe for people to walk home alone after midnight. I suspect a certain Chris Flunk doesn't give two s&(*s because hes tucked up in bed by that time....
Why haven't they trialed low energy lighting before turning all the lights off - they would be able to see a benefit financially and still keep everyone happy, why are we even paying council tax? Ridiculous. I did not enjoy driving home the other weekend in the pitch black, nor do I think its safe for people to walk home alone after midnight. I suspect a certain Chris Flunk doesn't give two s&(*s because hes tucked up in bed by that time.... BenfleetH
  • Score: 9

4:23pm Fri 14 Mar 14

marshman says...

lol ... a couple of tory councillors creating a photo opportunity for a couple of tory candidates and you mugs all fall for it. It's the 2nd thing I've read today that made me laugh (other was the false hope John Burrows may be saved). Neither of these stories have anything to do with elections in May and headless tory chickens grubbing about for votes do they ... lol
lol ... a couple of tory councillors creating a photo opportunity for a couple of tory candidates and you mugs all fall for it. It's the 2nd thing I've read today that made me laugh (other was the false hope John Burrows may be saved). Neither of these stories have anything to do with elections in May and headless tory chickens grubbing about for votes do they ... lol marshman
  • Score: -6

5:14pm Fri 14 Mar 14

John T Pharro says...

Ian P wrote:
"CASTLE Point Council’s Tory group is considering paying County Hall to turn the borough’s street lights back on". I understand why this is being proposed, but why should the council taxpayers of Castle Point pay ECC twice for street lighting? ECC has already had the money to keep the lights on, because there was no mention of turning lights off when the current level of council tax was set. What they have done is to charge us for full lighting, supplied partial lighting and then kept the savings.
And how much did it cost to impliment these changes? What next will the Borough pick up. The bill for filling the potholes EssexCC don't do that properly, if at all either. Obvious answer get rid of a Essex County Council and save all the County Councillor expenses and the number of times duplication of bureaucracy.
[quote][p][bold]Ian P[/bold] wrote: "CASTLE Point Council’s Tory group is considering paying County Hall to turn the borough’s street lights back on". I understand why this is being proposed, but why should the council taxpayers of Castle Point pay ECC twice for street lighting? ECC has already had the money to keep the lights on, because there was no mention of turning lights off when the current level of council tax was set. What they have done is to charge us for full lighting, supplied partial lighting and then kept the savings.[/p][/quote]And how much did it cost to impliment these changes? What next will the Borough pick up. The bill for filling the potholes EssexCC don't do that properly, if at all either. Obvious answer get rid of a Essex County Council and save all the County Councillor expenses and the number of times duplication of bureaucracy. John T Pharro
  • Score: 10

6:02pm Fri 14 Mar 14

iknowbetter says...

Chris Flunk wrote:
If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it.

Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile.
Well said Chris, honestly people are moaning for absolutely no reason here, if anyone can let us all know just exactly how their lives are so badly affected because the street lights are switched off please let us know.
I prefer having no street lights, the night sky is amazing without the light pollution.
[quote][p][bold]Chris Flunk[/bold] wrote: If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it. Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile.[/p][/quote]Well said Chris, honestly people are moaning for absolutely no reason here, if anyone can let us all know just exactly how their lives are so badly affected because the street lights are switched off please let us know. I prefer having no street lights, the night sky is amazing without the light pollution. iknowbetter
  • Score: -10

6:39pm Fri 14 Mar 14

carnmountyouknowitmakessense says...

Idontknowy wrote:
Its a real pain for everybody. It wouldn't be quite so bad if paths and roads were maintained properly
Leave the bloody lights off, 1000 out of 60,000 is nothing, moaning nimbies.
[quote][p][bold]Idontknowy[/bold] wrote: Its a real pain for everybody. It wouldn't be quite so bad if paths and roads were maintained properly[/p][/quote]Leave the bloody lights off, 1000 out of 60,000 is nothing, moaning nimbies. carnmountyouknowitmakessense
  • Score: -10

12:05am Mon 17 Mar 14

Kim Gandy says...

iknowbetter wrote:
Chris Flunk wrote:
If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it.

Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile.
Well said Chris, honestly people are moaning for absolutely no reason here, if anyone can let us all know just exactly how their lives are so badly affected because the street lights are switched off please let us know.
I prefer having no street lights, the night sky is amazing without the light pollution.
Try asking the woman who had to give up her job because it meant walking home in the dark. She doesn't drive and cannot afford taxis.

Ask the tradesman who dare not leave his tools in his van overnight.

Ask those who have been attacked after lights out recently.

Ask any number of people who work in the night time economy how they like to have to walk home in the dark.

Ask the elderly people who live alone how they feel about knowing the outsides of their homes are full of dark shadows and hiding places.

Well, they could take to their cars (those who drive) but that would upset the lefties who want us all to walk everywhere because of global warming and pollution.

The lights have been turned off BECAUSE of the EU's obsession with this ludicrous nonsense of "man made" global warming. It's a directive from Brussels and of course we all have to kiss Brussels @rse these days don't we?

As a stargazer myself I admit the sky IS amazing with lights out but there are pockets of darkness we can all find if we want to stargaze. And if we're brave enough to venture to them alone.

I am more concerned with those who are forced to walk home through circumstances and the elderly and vulnerable who dare not set foot outside their front doors even to let the cat in. (And yes, I spoke to an old lady living alone, who made that point).

Whether or not the fear of crime is more common than the crime itself is not the point.

The other point is also that ECC have spent £6.7million installing these gadgets on the tops of streetlights in order to save a million a year?

This is more about the Tories toeing the line with their Brussels overlords.

It' seems it's OK for those who live in relatively safe or lit areas to pontificate on what the rest of us should or should not think, say and do - typical of the "pull the ladder up Jack" attitude rife on this website.
[quote][p][bold]iknowbetter[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Chris Flunk[/bold] wrote: If you want to do this then it should be run as an 'adopt a streetlight' plan so that people who want a specific light on can directly pay for it. I don't want the lights switched back on as I can see no valid reason for it and I certainly don't see why I should pay for it. Just over 1% of the population of Castle Point signing a petition does not constitute 'widespread anger'. If we've got money to spend use it for something worthwhile.[/p][/quote]Well said Chris, honestly people are moaning for absolutely no reason here, if anyone can let us all know just exactly how their lives are so badly affected because the street lights are switched off please let us know. I prefer having no street lights, the night sky is amazing without the light pollution.[/p][/quote]Try asking the woman who had to give up her job because it meant walking home in the dark. She doesn't drive and cannot afford taxis. Ask the tradesman who dare not leave his tools in his van overnight. Ask those who have been attacked after lights out recently. Ask any number of people who work in the night time economy how they like to have to walk home in the dark. Ask the elderly people who live alone how they feel about knowing the outsides of their homes are full of dark shadows and hiding places. Well, they could take to their cars (those who drive) but that would upset the lefties who want us all to walk everywhere because of global warming and pollution. The lights have been turned off BECAUSE of the EU's obsession with this ludicrous nonsense of "man made" global warming. It's a directive from Brussels and of course we all have to kiss Brussels @rse these days don't we? As a stargazer myself I admit the sky IS amazing with lights out but there are pockets of darkness we can all find if we want to stargaze. And if we're brave enough to venture to them alone. I am more concerned with those who are forced to walk home through circumstances and the elderly and vulnerable who dare not set foot outside their front doors even to let the cat in. (And yes, I spoke to an old lady living alone, who made that point). Whether or not the fear of crime is more common than the crime itself is not the point. The other point is also that ECC have spent £6.7million installing these gadgets on the tops of streetlights in order to save a million a year? This is more about the Tories toeing the line with their Brussels overlords. It' seems it's OK for those who live in relatively safe or lit areas to pontificate on what the rest of us should or should not think, say and do - typical of the "pull the ladder up Jack" attitude rife on this website. Kim Gandy
  • Score: 10

11:35pm Thu 20 Mar 14

Mumfie says...

Am I not right in thinking that we actually still pay for street lighting in our taxes? So why are the Tories willing to pay again to keep the lights on?
This is something happening all over the country, against the wishes of the police, local councils, Health and safety advisors and the vast majority of the electorate. I wonder how much Essex CC spent on the spikes recently installed on top of most street lights, in comparison to how much more energy efficient LED lights would have cost to install? This has not been thought through. People don't want it. Find other ways to save money, but the lights must be turned back on, or Essex County Councillors, as others who put into action this ill-conceived crazy idea, will find themselves being voted out at the next County elections.
Am I not right in thinking that we actually still pay for street lighting in our taxes? So why are the Tories willing to pay again to keep the lights on? This is something happening all over the country, against the wishes of the police, local councils, Health and safety advisors and the vast majority of the electorate. I wonder how much Essex CC spent on the spikes recently installed on top of most street lights, in comparison to how much more energy efficient LED lights would have cost to install? This has not been thought through. People don't want it. Find other ways to save money, but the lights must be turned back on, or Essex County Councillors, as others who put into action this ill-conceived crazy idea, will find themselves being voted out at the next County elections. Mumfie
  • Score: 3

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