Lib Dems say to Herts roads contractor Ringway: 'Fix street light problems in six weeks or go'
The Liberal Democrats have demanded that failing County Council contractor Ringway get a grip on the number of non-working street lights within six weeks - or be sacked.
Lib Dem Leader Stephen Giles-Medhurst, who proposed a motion at Herts County Council Full Council meeting on 31st March which was critical of the County's street lighting performance, said: 'The levels of failure are now so high that members are spending more and more time dealing with lighting problems, having to apologise on behalf of the County Council.
It should not be like this.
'Nor should we have to propose a full council motion to get action. If Ringway have not fixed the problem within six weeks, the County Council should be looking for a new provider.' Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst told the meeting.
Since January there have been 50,000 reported lighting defects, lights out or in full daytime lighting. Most of these are on residential side roads and the county contractor had only repaired 30% of these within the agreed 20 working days in February against a target of 98%!
Cllr Sara Bedford who highlighted key problems in her division: ' Many of residents have been waiting for four months or longer to get lights fixed and I have just been given excuses or false reports.'
A highly critical motion of the contractor was agreed and a report will now be made to the Highways and Waste Panel on May 12th which may consider further sanctions on Ringway.
'Frankly I think County officers have also left this matter drift, Ringway's performance dropped in September and October and fell still further in November and December yet a plan to get them to repair our lights, as they are paid to do, was not agreed until February. This is and was not good enough, Ringway are being paid millions and we should not in this day and age be chasing them to ensure our street lights work correctly.' said Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst.
The opposition leader said 'I am pleased that the Conservatives accepted our criticism and are acting, they could hardly ignore what they know is true. We cannot allow Ringway to get away with poor performance.'
The motion was agreed unanimously.