Filton street light petition is ‘dead in the water’

November 15 2013

A petition aimed at restoring night time street lighting for Filton is “dead in the water” according to a councillor.

By Rebecca Day

A petition aimed at restoring night time street lighting for Filton is “dead in the water” according to a councillor.

In last month’s Filtonvoice, local resident Ken Hoare said he wanted South Glos Council to reconsider the move, which the authority says is aimed at saving money and reducing the carbon footprint.

He launched a Facebook petition which so far has gathered around 80 signatures. He would need around 2,500 to prompt a debate at South Glos Council.

However at this month’s full town council meeting, South Glos councillor Adam Monk described the petition as being “dead in the water” due to lack of signatures.

But Cllr Rikki Teml, a Conygre Ward councillor, said: “There are residents who are very passionate - I wouldn’t say it’s ‘dead in the water’ yet.

“If people are passionate about getting the street lighting turned back on, they will do something about it.”

Mr Hoare said: “How can money come before the safety of the people in Filton?”. Another Facebook page, entitled ‘Turn the street lights back on in South Glos’, has been set up for South Gloucestershire residents to discuss their issues about street lighting.

The group currently has more than 1,000 members.

Residents from across South Gloucestershire have been complaining that they feel unsafe, and have been reporting incidents of night-time crimes on the page.

According to reports, Avon and Somerset Police have noticed an recent increase in reports of criminal damage in Yate. However, it has not been confirmed that this is linked to part-time lighting.

Town councillor Melanie Drewett said on the Facebook group: “Turning off the lights at night is going back to the dark ages and is shocking that other options were not explored, for example every other light on or sensor lighting as they have in other cities.”

She added: “If in an area with high crime statistics the lights should be left on, then unfortunately as Filton and Patchway have been recognised as priority neighbourhoods due to their non affluent status and having high crime statistics, should they not remain on?”

One page member has questioned whether SGC are now paying more for their electricity because the power company has increased the tariff due to lower usage.

However Cllr Monk stated that this was “not true”. Since the clocks have gone back, lights are to be switched off between 12am-5am.

However, some residents have complained that lights are being switched off around 11pm and the council is working to ensure sensors work correctly.