Street light repairs across Hertfordshire are managed in a way that would make the Mad Hatter look organised. Liberal Democrat County Councillors have been receiving emails stating that street lights would be repaired within 4 weeks when they knew full well that in a significant number of cases repairs had not been completed after 12 weeks or more.
After an email exchange between Lib Dem County Councillor Chris White (St Albans Central), it has become clear that the published 20 working day repair claims only applied to minor roads – and then not always.
For ‘classified roads (A, B and C roads), there is no time limit at all and Chris was told not to pursue any more street light failures with the council.
“The current system is clearly a nonsense because it means that it takes longer by definition to fix a light on an A, B or C road than on an unclassified road,” commented Chris White. “What makes this whole issue an episode from Alice in Wonderland is the fact that the county council ignores councillors’ and residents’ reports of street failures on main roads, preferring to spend our money on employing people to do a monthly ‘scout’ for blown light bulbs.
“This adds a whole extra month delay, even if Ringway the contractors are doing their job. The fact that I have lights in my division which have been out for months makes it clear that Ringway is being paid to do a job it isn’t doing.’
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, Stephen Giles-Medhurst (Watford Central and Oxhey commented) “This is yet another poorly managed highways service. It’s bad enough that so many lights are now switched off permanently overnight – now it is a guessing game when they will choose to repair them. Look at our darkened streets, our potholed roads and the disgraceful cuts to public transport services. It feels as if transport and Highways mean nothing to the Conservatives running our County.”