Lights Out...

By Mick Scrimshaw on November 28, 2014

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In it's latest attempt to scrape together a bit of extra cash, the County Council are now targeting street lights on unadopted roads and threatening to turn them off completely if resident’s or the local Borough Council won’t pay for them.

This has the potential to affect a lot of people because for a number of various genuine reasons there are a lot of unadopted roads about. This issue was highlighted yesterday in a Council meeting where there was a Labour Party motion about a 40-year-old estate in Corby where Northants County Council has always provided the lighting but are now threatening to turn them off.

To be honest, until the debate actually started I had assumed this was some kind of misunderstanding and this wasn’t what was actually planned. That was until I heard the arguments from the Conservatives in favour of doing it which included statements like people should pay for their own lights and be grateful they’d had them free all these years. This seemed to stem from the fact that is some small leafy villages the lighting is provided locally by the Parish Council but I would have thought that was more an argument to change that, rather than turn off other people’s lights.

One Tory accused Labour of having "a philosophy of wanting things for nothing, while their side believed that people should pay for things themselves", ignoring the fact that's actually what we pay our Council Tax for.

I was genuinely staggered and thought to myself that if only they could hear themselves they would realise how callous they sounded, and then realised of course that they can hear themselves, and clearly don’t care.

Mick Scrimshaw is the Leader of the Labour Group at Kettering Borough Council, the Shadow Cabinet Member for Finance at Northamptonshire County Council. He has a public record of standing up for Kettering as a County Councillor for the Northall division in Kettering, Northants and since May 2015, a Borough Councillor for the William Knibb ward. He is a keen cyclist and also runs a family business with his wife.

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