Video – Waltham Abbey Town Council discusses street lighting.
This blog is written by Cllr Dave Plummer in an individual capacity and is not written on behalf of, or intended to represent, Waltham Abbey Town Council.
Street lighting is one of the most commonly raised issues with Waltham Abbey’s Town Councillors. We’re regularly contacted about street lights which are out of order, many of which have been reported numerous times but still aren’t working.
As street lights are maintained by Essex County Council there’s nothing much that Town Councillors can do directly to get them fixed. However, we are acutely aware of the problem and how important it is.
Although there is conflicting evidence about the effect of street lighting on crime1This study says that street lighting doesn’t reduce crime: https://jech.bmj.com/content/69/11/1118.short?
This one says that it does: https://www.politieacademie.nl/kennisenonderzoek/kennis/mediatheek/PDF/76003.pdf it’s important that people feel safe – street lighting plays a large role in that.
Of course, there are other things to consider, including energy use and light pollution – I mentioned the latter in the meeting, specifically focusing on light pollution’s impact on nocturnal wildlife and the night sky2See the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s NightBlight site for more info: https://www.nightblight.cpre.org.uk/ – but there are now very efficient and effective ways to minimise both of those issues.
As you can see from the discussion in the video we share residents’ frustration at the delays in getting our street lights fixed.
At the Town Mayor’s suggestion our Town Clerk is going to write to Essex County Council, via a Freedom of Information (FOI) request if necessary, asking for confirmation of:
- The number of lights reported
- The number of lights that have been fixed
- The length of time between lights being reported and being fixed
This won’t solve things in itself but it will help us to see just how big the problem is and help us put pressure on Essex County Council to get our streetlights fixed.
I’m sorry that the video and it’s audio quality aren’t great – the clip is taken from a low resolution live-stream and the Council Chamber’s acoustics aren’t great for recording speech.
The full live-stream is on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/greendavep/videos/871844303266300/
To report a street light which isn’t switching on please visit the Essex County Council website: https://www.essexhighways.org/transport-and-roads/tell-us/tell-us-SL-Light-not-switching-on.aspx
These are the links from the footnotes in the main text.
1) Street lighting and crime reports
This study from 2015 says that street lighting doesn’t reduce crime: https://jech.bmj.com/content/69/11/1118.short?
This one from 2008 says that it does: https://www.politieacademie.nl/kennisenonderzoek/kennis/mediatheek/PDF/76003.pdf
2) Light pollution
See the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s NightBlight site for more info: https://www.nightblight.cpre.org.uk/