Plaid Cymru councillors have renewed their call for street lights in Caerphilly County to be switched back in the wake of a “generous” financial settlement from the Welsh Government.
Caerphilly Council will receive an additional 8.5% from the Welsh Government from April and Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, says some of the additional funds should go towards turning lamps back on in the early hours.
The increase to local authorities has been described by the Welsh Local Government Association as “one of the best financial settlements since the beginning of devolution”. Devolved government began in 1999.
Labour-run Caerphilly Council has plunged residential streets into darkness after switching off 22,695 street lights from 12 midnight until 5.30am over the last few years.
Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the Plaid Cymru group, said: “The settlement from the Welsh Government is generous and it’s time for the Labour leadership to use some of the additional funds to switch street lights back on. There can be no excuses for not giving residential areas light overnight.
“Labour’s policy has caused much anxiety, particularly among older and vulnerable residents and given our communities a sense of insecurity. It really is time Labour U-turned and admit they blundered by switching of lights.”
Councillor Colin Mann has written to council leader Philipa Marsden to press the issue.
“There is also concern about an increase in anti-social behaviour in parts of the county borough, so Plaid Cymru supports an increase in the number of community safety wardens. The wardens are well regarded and give increased visibility on our streets should help tackle, along with police action, bad behaviour in our towns and villages,” he added.
- In 2020 a Plaid Cymru investigation revealed that Caerphilly Council had switched off three times more street lights in the early mornings than in any other Gwent authority. This was revealed following a Freedom of Information request to Blaenau Gwent, Monmouthshire, Newport and Torfaen councils.