Harlow Labour leader slams Tories over street lighting

News / Fri 16th Jun 2023 at 12:30pm

THE LEADER of Harlow Labour has expressed his concern over the cost of street lighting under the Tories.

Councillor Chris Vince said: “The news last month that Essex County council have finally decided to replace their costly and controversial part time lighting with LEDs is welcome.  Its only a shame that the Conservatives at county hall didn’t do so when the Labour and Lib Dem County councillors recommended it 10 years ago.

Instead they spent a whopping £6, 000 000 to compliment part time lighting, knowing full well that the scheme wouldn’t break even until 2020.

One has to think they would have saved a lot of time and money,  not to mention the safety of Essex residents, by bringing in LED lighting in the first place.

Harlow Labour rightly put our residents safety first and paid to keep our night time lighting on whereas across the county the Conservatives turned them off (we know Harlow Conservative portfolio holder Cllr Hardware, also a county councillor, agrees with them.) 

“Perhaps the county council, now acknowledging Labour were right about LEDs ought to pay us back rather than doubling the cost of them!”

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16 Comments for Harlow Labour leader slams Tories over street lighting:

Luke Burton
2023-06-16 12:33:10

Another Harlow Labour slams Tories over story like clockwork as usual!

2023-06-16 13:03:17

LED cats eyes in all roads combined with motion sensing street lighting has proved more effective, efficient and a low cost long term solution.

Steve Crewe
2023-06-16 13:33:46

The best thing the Tories did, making the streets safer. LED will be cheaper in time.

2023-06-16 14:03:53

A bit of history and background to LED streetlights. The first LED streetlighting lighting installation was in Somerset in 2011, and it was very expensive. Having worked in leading edge lighting developments for many years, I believe a cautious approach to adopting LED streetlights was a wise approach. There was a long learning curve for the LED fitting designers, and early fitting failures are still a problem from time to time. This can often be seen by LED streetlights either being “out” or flashing. Mass early failures would have been both very expensive and disruptive. Whilst efficiency gains of between 40 and 60% can be obtained when compared to the yellow sodium lights, some of the early installations suffered from short lives. Heat is an issue, for both the actual LEDs and the driver circuits. They have to be designed to not only withstand the self generated heat, but also the heat from the sun on a hot day. Due to the physical differences between sodium and LED lights, direct replacements from sodium to LED is not always good. They have different optical patterns, and also LED lights often have a “blue content”, resulting in a higher level of glare when compared to sodium lamps. (There is a very good website on the design on LED streetlights by a company called ZGSM which covers many of the problems that have had to be considered. In addition to this, the practicalities of changing many thousands of streetlights mean it would be a long term project. (128,000 streetlighting columns, and 11,000 illuminated signs to convert.)

2023-06-16 14:31:23

It is all very well having the street lights on at night and I would rather be paying a little more Council tax so that they remain on. However, when there is an issue with lamps that are not working, I am not happy paying extra Council tax for having lights that don't work. I contacted Harlow Council back in January to report 2 lamps that are near each other in Radburn Close, and both are not working. In fairness the responsibility does not lie with Harlow Council, but Essex County Council. So I took a note of the numbers on the lamps and went online to report the issue. Here we are nearly 6 months later and they are still not working. Just how long does it take for Essex County Council to sort out the problem. As the vast majority of our Council Tax goes to them, one wonders just what do they do with the money we are paying, as the services from them are quite frankly appalling. Essex County Council must be one of the worst run Council in the entire country.

2023-06-16 17:16:07

"Just how long does it take for Essex County Council to sort out the problem." 10 years for at least one pothole: https://www.essexlive.news/news/essex-news/oldest-potholes-essex-including-one-8526637 For a street light, don't hold your breath. Just as well we pay almost nothing to ECC as part of our council tax.

2023-06-16 17:23:06

In reply to Hugo's comment. If I have read your comment right, you are saying we pay almost nothing to ECC. It is the other way round. We only pay a minimal part of our Council Tax to Harlow Council. The rest goes partly to the Essex Police and I'm not sure but think the Fire brigade takes a small part. But the vast majority of it goes to ECC. And we all know that ECC don't care about Harlow one bit, they would rather we were shoved off into Hertfordshire.

2023-06-16 21:20:44

Charlie, my sarcasm was obviously lost. Probably my fault.

2023-06-16 21:40:29

Does a lot of "slamming" does Mr Vince

2023-06-17 01:28:48

When Harlow Labour put Council Tax up by £5 a year the Conservatives shouted pretend outrage at the unaffordable increase. Now the Conservatives are putting Council tax by £11 a year to fund lighting that Harlow has already paid for once though the 85% of our Council tax that is clawed off us by the Conservatives in Essex County Council.

David Forman
2023-06-17 08:42:13

Contributor NickL is absolutely correct about the difficulties of early adoption of LED lighting and their poor performing light fittings. Cllr Vince is not electrical engineering savvy, which leaves him trying to score political points from a position of ignorance.

Steve Crewe
2023-06-17 10:34:19

Harlow Council spent over £11500 on solicitors defending Nick Churchill from a £1 small claims court case. I know, not sure ask them. I took him to court because he told the police I sent a private threatening message. This was a lie. Ask him, the council or the police for any proof. They have zero.

Mark Gough
2023-06-17 16:41:01

It's time this was actually sorted out. It's another one of those things were some are Harlow and some are Essex and that strategy is to blame the other. This also works for blocked grids where both can also blame Thames Water. It time all lampposts had a clear sign as to who is responsible alongside the code of the post. Like others we have one street lamp in my Glebelands cul-de-sac which has been out for months leaving us in pitch black. Turns out it has a fault due to a lack of maintenance which is constantly blowing the fuse in the power supply. But the issues of cost, responsibility and maintenance need sorting on top of during of lighting up! I found it interesting that in Cllr.Vince's home town in Chelmsford that they had painted some lampposts in climb proof paint and then invests in signs to tell us! How ridiculous! But shows you that competence for residents is a massive fail for all of the LibLabCon! Mark Gough - Reform UK

Mark Gough
2023-06-17 16:43:31

Duration not during*

2023-06-18 12:04:11

Street lighting at night is a total waste of money, except in communal areas and strategic road junctions. Research shows there is no crime prevention or safety benefit.

2023-06-19 14:22:01

They used to turn the lights off after 1am because the number of people in the streets at that time wasn't worth the cost in money and CO2 footprint. But then came a bunch of scaremongering stories about murderers and rapists using the darkness, think of the children, won't somebody please think of the children!? And someone fell over a broken flagstone in a dark underpass where the lights should have been on (They were one of the sections marked as necessary all night to light the underpass) but they'd been vandalised. Somehow the facts were less important than the feelings that darkness is scary therefore saving electricity is bad for the 0.01% of Harlow that decides to go for a stroll at 3am but doesn't like to carry a torch.

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