More Than 3,200 Back Call For Street Lights To Be Switched Back On

30/12/2019

More than 1,613 people have signed an online petition by Plaid Cymru calling on Caerphilly Council to switch street lights back on.

A petition circulating in the county has also raised a further 1,600 signatures.

Tens of thousands of lights are being turned off with only junctions and major town centres escaping the turn-off between midnight and 5.30am every day. The turn off will continue through 2020.

Among the comments left by people who signed the online petition were:

“I get called out to old and vulnerable people all hours and it’s a nightmare trying to find addresses. CCBC got a duty of care to provide a service.”

Another wrote: “We pay for street lighting in our council tax and now they are turning them off at certain times during the night. It doesn’t seem as safe as it once did.”

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “Older people and those living alone in particular have told us that they feel more vulnerable and less secure as a result of this cost-cutting measure.  It is not just elderly.  There are issues about early morning shift workers walking to work in pitch-black conditions, also carers called out to homes in the early hours.

“There needs to be an urgent review of the scheme which started in April. People should not feel unsafe in their own homes. Money may be tight but street lighting is one of the essentials that people rely on and it should be one of the last things to be cut.

“My group supported capital investment to switch to LED lighting on the basis that it would save a huge amount of energy and money.  The fact that LED lighting uses a lot less power weakens the case for the night-time switch-off. This needs to be re-considered now.”

Delyth Jewell AM, who is standing in Caerphilly at the 2021 Assembly elections said:
“It's simply not acceptable that the council has seen fit to cut back on street lighting, when it has such a direct impact on how safe people feel in their homes and communities. Unless this decision is reversed, it will lead to already-vulnerable people becoming yet more isolated and essentially trapped in their homes after dark during the darkest months of the year.

“The council must reconsider this disastrously short-sighted decision urgently.”