Wednesday, 17 August 2011
The lights are going off in Rushmere....
By now many of you would have started to see orange Suffolk County Council signs appear on Rushmere Ward streets, informing you that your street lights will soon be switched off between midnight and 5.30am.
I believe in principle it is a good idea to turn the lights off, not only saving the County money but also helping reduce our carbon footprint. What I have not been happy about is the way the Tory run County have failed to inform residents and not to have in place a procedure that residents can follow if they believe their street should stay lit.
What has even been more disappointing than the failure of the County to inform residents of the switch off is the way certain Ipswich Tory councillors, candidates and activists have attempted to scare residents with talk of muggings and petty crime but then to say the Labour run Ipswich Borough Council are the ones who are turning the lights off!
Thankfully this week at least two senior Tories have been more honest when talking about the proposed light switch off. In his Evening Star column this week, the Tory councillor for Bixley, Kym Stroet was quoted 'Although we (IBC) are responsible for only a small proportion of the street lights, as councillors we need to allay fears of residents'. Former Tory councillor Gavin Maclure even commented on a previous post by me that Ipswich Tories should not be saying it is the Borough turning the lights off.
Hopefully that message will get over to former Tory Candidate James Spencer who believes the streets of Bridge will become more dangerous because of Labour and Kevin Algar who also blogged how it was a Labour plan to turn lights off.
As both these Tory supporting blogs often get their facts wrong it is no surprise they got the 'lights off' facts wrong, but there was little excuse for the Tories in Holywells ward to put out a leaflet that was very unclear on who was behind the plan to turn them off (even if the Tory County councillors from Ipswich voted for the plan).
We will see how the 'switch off' goes, but if any Ipswich resident feels that they need to have their street stay lit up, please contact your Labour councillor and we will take the matter up with the County Council.