Keep our lights on
Conservative run Hertfordshire County Council turn 80% of street lights off between the hours of 1am and 5am. Residents across Hertfordshire deserve to feel safe, so we want to join a growing number of local people pressuring the Council to turn our lights back on for good, and ensure that every road has adequate lighting at all times of the day.
In the wake of the tragic death of Sarah Everard, the horrific prevalance of violence against women and girls has been shone in the national spotlight. This has sparked a need to take urgent action on creating a safer environment on our streets for everyone, especially those who are disproportionatly affected by crime. It’s simply unacceptable that many key workers, late commuters, night shift workers and pedestrians face complete darkness around local stations, streets and crossings.
In late February 2020, executive member of Hertfordshire County Council for highways and environment Cllr Phil Bibby said proposals to extend street lighting until 2am had already been reccomended by the cabinet panel, but Conservative colleagues later voted down a Joint Labour-LibDem opposition motion to extend the street lighting across the county permanently. It is clear that action can be taken, and there is a clear demand to take it now. We all deserve to feel safe on our streets.
We urge the County Council to undertake direct consultation with residents across Hertfordshire about the specific needs of each division, push forward plans to extend street lighting permanently through the early hours of the day, and explore creative ways of mitigating environmental costs with alternative materials and methods of offsetting.
The Roads and Highways section of the 2021 Labour Party County Council Manifesto demands “Street lights are turned back on where there is a local demand from the county councillor.” We wholeheartedly support this pledge and any other representative or party that subscribes to this view, and believe it lends to the argument that residents need to elect county councillors who are in touch with the needs of local people in order to push this further. Let’s get our lights back on.