We spoke to over 400 residents in Wildridings and Easthampstead about the residential street lighting in their area and residents were very unhappy with the quality of the new lights rolled out by the Council, had concerns over the cost, safety and security in their neighbourhood. We are also aware of a number of other areas across the borough with these concerns.
Local campaigner Thomas Parker has championed a street lights campaign that started with a simple Freedom of Information (FoI) request to find out the costs and whether residents were involved in the process.
Then the following deputation was presented to Bracknell Forest Council at the April 2018 meeting:
“I, Thomas Parker of the Bracknell Liberal Democrats, on behalf of the Residents of Wildridings and Easthampstead would like to raise the following deputation:
The Council’s changes to street lighting in residential areas, costing some £7 million across the borough, including £405k in Wildridings and Great Hollands alone, have caused great concern amongst residents due to inadequacies in the design of both the lampposts and the lights themselves. Therefore, I urge the Council to review the effectiveness of the installed lighting in residential areas in Wildridings and Easthampstead and either:
a) Remediate the lighting deficiencies; or
b) Inform residents in a published statement why they believe the lighting to be adequate?”
The facts on the new street lights
£7,300,000 spent across Bracknell Forest, £405,000 in Wildridings and Great Hollands alone.
No pilot study was conducted or consultation with Phase 1 residents prior to the full rollout of the lighting scheme.
Thames Valley Police’s Thames Valley Alert system says that overnight break-ins are up in areas with new lights.
Here’s the video of Thomas in action and the uncommital response from the Council, which denied your concerns:
We’re going to keep up the fighting for you on this issue and Thomas is already planning a follow up to hold the Council to account over their loose promises of action over the coming months. We are fighting on your behalf to ensure that everyone across the borough, not just in Wildridings and Central Bracknell, has adequate lighting in their community so that they feel safe. We’ve written to Ringway (the company that built the lights) and Hounslow Borough Council (where the company previously installed lighting) in order to make sure we can not only find out the scale of the project without consultation but also work towards having a solution that works for everyone.