Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Street lighting policy - and Seafield Road

Further to my previous articles about concerns regarding street lighting policy in the city (click on headline above to view - or go to http://tinyurl.com/dundeelights) the City Council's Chief Executive has now advised me of a change in policy with immediate effect. This will reverse the policy of not replacing street lights damaged by motor vehicles where the cost could not be reclaimed via the driver’s insurance policy.

Having first raised concerns about the impact of not replacing street lights back in May, I was disappointed that it seemed to take an age to address the issue, particularly as the darker nights drew in.

However, I am very pleased that the new Chief Executive has responded to my concerns – and those of other councillors – and we will now see the “missing” street lights replaced.

He has advised me earlier today as follows :

"I have been contacted by a number of elected members regarding the practice in relation to replacement of damaged street lighting, which was introduced as part of the 2009/10 Revenue Budget.

The concerns raised by elected members are that the non-replacement of damaged street lights is having an adverse effect on public safety and is not effective.

I have met with the Directors of City Development and Finance and we have agreed that, with immediate effect, this procedure should cease, and this will mean that forthwith all street lighting lampposts that are damaged or need replacement will be replaced.

The cost of this revised procedure is estimated to be £72,000 in the current financial year, and the Director of Finance has advised me this can be met from the Council's Renewal & Repairs Fund. The cost in a full financial year, ie 2010/11 onwards, is estimated to be £130,000 and this provision will be included within the draft Capital Estimates, which will be considered at the Policy & Resources Committee in February 2010."

It is vital that missing street lights are replaced urgently as community safety is paramount. If we take for example the missing street light in Seafield Road in the West End, the area around the missing street light has been plunged into darkness and I cannot stress enough how important it is that it is replaced soon.

I have today written to the City Engineer seeking a timescale for the replacement light for Seafield Road being installed.