Plaid Cymru has accused Labour councillors in Caerphilly of turning a deaf ear to the public’s pleas to switch street lights back on in residential areas during the early hours.
Labour councillors voted down 41-19 a notice of motion supported by Plaid and Independent councillors to review the decision to turn off lights between midnight and 5.30am.
Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, told tonight’s full council meeting which was discussing a notice of motion on street lighting supported by Plaid and Independent councillors: “The Labour Council has claimed frequently over the years that it is a listening council – well it has turned a deaf ear to the public on street lights. The Labour members in scrutiny even tried to stop this motion being debated in council tonight. Over 200 people have even taken the time to write in to object to the early morning lights switch off, as well as thousands more signing petitions.
I have heard the need to save carbon mentioned frequently in connection with this debate. I was working on the carbon agenda in this council 20 years ago – long before it was fashionable. Plaid supported the switch to LED lighting which is producing massive savings – both in carbon and money.”
Councillor Colin Mann added: “Remember there is also a duty to promote wellbeing. What has been done to street lighting is a huge detriment to the wellbeing of our communities.
“Labour’s GREAT SWITCH-OFF is particularly impacting the lives of people who live alone, also the vulnerable, the elderly and shift workers. There’s a world of difference between switching off lights in the heart of communities where people live than on a by-pass or industrial estate, where there are no homes.
“Before Labour councillors shout “Where would the money come from” they should remember the £ millions they found to pay for the senior officers’ pay scandal.
“The money can be found if there’s a will but Labour seem determined to confine the people of Caerphilly to the darkness this autumn and winter
“Labour should halt all further switch-offs and have a radical rethink about switching the lights back on as soon as possible.”