Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Deadly Switch Off

Swindon recently engaged in an experiment, despite local concerns, to save money and to 'reduce their carbon footprint' by switching off streetlights - enthusiastically supported no less by a Tory councillor.

But whoops it's gone a bit Pete Tong according to the BBC:
Hundreds of street lights in Swindon which were turned off to save money are being switched back on.
Swindon Borough Council said the authority felt it was not worth continuing due to the number of concerns being raised by the public.
But what the BBC report and the Councillors don't say is 'concerns being raised by the public' refers to the fact that lights have been turned back on because of significant safety considerations, views which were aired well in advance, and that accidents have subsequently increased as a result of the blackout.

Still at least it was supposed to save £20,000, only a snip compared to the total basic Councillor's allowances of £722,600.


  1. "carbont footprint" ?? what???? the lights are either usefull or not. save £20K when the head of a county councils get paid simmallar to the USA President. It sounds like a Daily Mash article.

  2. Once a month, TBF, I take the ladies of Aston village- those elderly and mobility-challenged - to ASDA in Swindon, passing the short stretch of road twixt the A420 and the A419 I continually see a sign that states that that bit of road (must be all of 400 yards) has had the street light turned off to conserve energy - and each time I smile to myself.

    This subject, which in effect is a local matter should be subject to a decision made by local people - not their elected 'unrepresentatives'. What better case could be made for the instigation of direct democracy?

    Perhaps this example could be used to 'throw a little light' on the benefits of a system of democracy known as direct democracy?

  3. Cooncil see

  4. @Dinero: if only it was just a Daily Mash article

    @WfW amazingly the scheme was apparently supposed to save money, but now that the lights have to be turned back on it will cost even more money than before! Work that one out...

    @anon, thanks

  5. Years ago the street lights used to go out at midnight. I remember trying to stay awake to see it, aged maybe four or five.

    Plenty of posh little towns in the Cotswolds have few or no street lights in their High Streets, because that's how they like it.

    Can't see the problem myself.

  6. @Weekend Yachtsman I have no objection per se, just that the council's decision was made arbitrarily, on spurious grounds, despite local concerns which were subsequently proved right.