Street lights: Disaster for Harlow Council as Essex refuse to turn lights back on!

Politics / Thu 19th Mar 2015 at 03:48pm

ESSEX County Council has turned down the request by the Labour-run Harlow Council to turn the street lights back on.

In a strongly worded letter to the leader of Harlow Council, cllr Jon Clempner, cllr Rodney Bass details why he has come to the decision.

Here is the letter in full.

Re: Part Night Lighting (PNL)

Thank you for your letter of 5 March concerning your Council’s request to us to override the PNL scheme in Harlow. Your proposal is to finance this by levying a financial burden on Harlow Council taxpayers and paying it to ECC. The sum involved would be equivalent to the proportionate share of the savings (approx. £121k pa) which currently accrue to them (in their capacity as Essex County Council taxpayers) as a consequence of our PNL scheme

While we understand you specifically addressed in your Budget debate this somewhat bizarre financial proposal we are sorry that you have been unable to offer any substantive justification for this arrangement other than that it is the opinion of your ruling Labour Group. In particular, you have been unable to provide any sensible rationale for your Council’s change of stance (since it was consulted some 18 months ago) nor any evidence of an increase in crime or accidents which could be attributed to the PNL scheme since PNL was introduced in Harlow barely a year ago.

Accordingly, ECC is not willing to agree even to the principle of your proposal at this particular time. As I explained to you at our meeting, we are committed to fine tuning the PNL scheme during the forthcoming twelve months or so, and thereafter looking more actively at LED technology as complementary to (but not a substitute for) PNL to further improve the effectiveness of the street lighting service. Only then might we be in a position to have a meaningful discussion about ownership and management of the different classes of street lights. We think therefore it is better to defer further consideration of your suggestion for a year or so while we allow the PNL scheme to bed down after further fine tuning – some elements of which will be announced shortly. We believe this is in the interests of the Council taxpayers of Harlow as well as those of Essex as a whole.

Yours sincerely

Cllr Rodney L Bass CC
Cabinet Member for Highways and Transportation

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2 Comments for Street lights: Disaster for Harlow Council as Essex refuse to turn lights back on!:

2015-03-20 15:43:02

oops! Time for our Labour Council to start giving money back to Residents!

tony durcan
2015-03-20 19:21:44

We reversed Cllr Bass decision about losing out lollypop service we can challenge him on this.dont give up on Harlow Mark,I know you want to be the MP for Chelmsford but don't forget your roots please. We're stronger together

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