October 1st, 2016

Catshill man campaigns to gets lights turned back on

Updated: 11:07 am, May 07, 2015

A CATSHILL campaigner is calling on other residents to back him in his fight to get their street lighting switched back on.

Chris Beech, of Aintree Close, who appeared in The Standard after creating his own street lamp has asked others to put pen to paper to show Worcestershire County Council the strength of public feeling about how essential street lights are.

Chris said life went on for 24-hour-a-day now – shops were open around the clock and people worked all hours throughout the night and day.

He added the days where everyone went to bed at 10.30pm were over.

Chris said street lighting had been around for years and asked why and how the council could claim people did not need it anymore – dubbing the latest changes as Operation Blackout.

Chris said people now tended to voice their views on social media but needed to put pen to paper and lodge complaints officially with the council.

“If we do not fight this it will become the norm.” he added.

“When you ask people they are concerned about it.

“I really need help with this, I am going to fight this all the way.

“There are debates whether it is a good idea or not but it is a service we pay for.”

Chris said people were now paying more in taxes for less and he was forking out to light his street lamp which was a service that used to be paid for.

And he has submitted seven hand-written complaints from residents.

A county council spokesman said the letters had been passed onto the relevant officers who would respond to each individual in due course.

Coun John Smith, responsible for highways, said the council had reduced the number of street lamps on roads and footpaths by 66 per cent between midnight and 6am.

He added the move would save £500,000-a-year from street lighting costs and help meet reduction targets for CO2 emissions.

Coun Smith said lights on junctions and some bends had been kept on for road safety reasons, as that was a priority.

He added the lights which remained on had been chosen by location to minimise the impact as far as possible on residents,

“While we understand people’s fears, perceptions of crime are often greater than the reality and all the information we have from West Mercia Police is there has been no discernible increase in incidents while the lighting has been switched off.

“We are also continuing to work with the police to ensure there is no rise in traffic incidents as a result of this initiative.” he said.

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