Langney deserves better

The Langney Ward is the first area that has the new eight filament lantern LED street lighting. Many of the new lanterns are fixed to new columns.The purpose of the new installation is to reduce the cost of electricity that ESCC uses for lighting roads and footpaths. The total savings are approximately £150,000 per year. However, the cost of the new lighting is £2,000,000. Each column and lantern costs £1,500. The electricity supplier is EDF Energy and the cable network owner is UK Network Ltd. The Cabinet of ESCC, which decided this was sound economics, also considered a permanent switch-off which would have been an economic disaster and political suicide, but the only thing that persuaded then not to switch off was the prohibitive charge the cable network would make to decommission the lights which would cost £10,000,000! This decision to cut essential public services yet again was to some extent forced on the county council by further cuts in the grant from Central Government. The decision was made to spend big to save a little with a long-term view in mind. The new lanterns should last 10 years, use less electricity and are low maintenance. The effect of the cheapest lanterns on the Birds Estate is a dramatic lowering in the light values from LED lighting, resulting in dark areas in the alleyways that link the roads to the point where it is impossible to see the ground. I am campaigning for six extra lights to be put in the dark areas to make them safe at a cost of £9,000. This is unlikely to happen as the lighting department of ESCC say they can’t afford it yet they can find the cost of a specially appointed co-ordinator to collate feed-back about the new lights. The elderly residents of the Birds Estate deserve lighting that will make then feel safe and secure indoors at night. Being forced to use a torch to see where they are going after dark is unacceptable. This is 2013 - not 1944 - which I am old enough to remember.


Kingfisher Drive.