Boston and Skegness MP backs street lighting consultation and calls on residents to get involved

Lincolnshire County Council to review policy of switching off street lights at midnight. EMN-170108-150523001
Lincolnshire County Council to review policy of switching off street lights at midnight. EMN-170108-150523001

The MP for Boston and Skegness has called on residents to ‘put forward their concerns’ to a consultation on street lighting announced by Lincolnshire County Council yesterday (Tuesday).

Matt Warman welcomed the announcement of the review which is set to begin in September expected to report back within six months.

MP Matt Warman.

MP Matt Warman.

He reassured residents that the review will consider issues including the impact on crime rates, emergency services and the environment, as well as fears about safety.

Mr Warman previously met with residents of the Woad Farm area of Boston in the spring to discuss their concern, and has since called on the Council to look at cases such as theirs, where there was a clear need for additional lighting.

He said: “I very much recognise that many residents and business across Boston and Skegness have concerns about reduced street lighting in some areas, especially as the nights start to draw in after the summer.

“I am pleased that the Council have recognised the need for residents to feel secure and will look at the impact of the policy change. It’s a change I called for and which has been delivered by new Conservative councillors working with the County Council.

Boston Community Police Inspector Andy Morrice. EMN-160725-143542001

Boston Community Police Inspector Andy Morrice. EMN-160725-143542001

“It is welcome news that the committee will also look at other councils who have changed their street lighting policy, so that they can learn best practice for our region. The scope of the review is much wider than the Council has initially planned and look forward to supporting their work when it commences in September.

“The council has already made some adjustments to the policy, such as in Sutterton so it lines up with working patterns. I would certainly encourage residents to put forward their concerns as well so that real evidence can be collated.”

Last Wednesday, Boston Community Insp Andrew Morrice told councillors on the Boston Town Area Committee, at Boston Borough Council, that the data still showed that crime had not risen since the street lights went out

Responding to a comment from Coun Paul Gleeson, Mr Morrice said that actually, 80 per cent of crime reported took place during the day time.

He said: “It’s not affecting the crime rate significantly, there’s no data to suggest crimes going up - in fact there was a 14 per cent drop in crime last year.

He said a recently spate of burglaries had taken place during the day time and were opportunistic where people had left their door or downstairs windows open during the day in the heat and the perpetrator had taken advantage of that.

However, he said the person responsible for that had been charged and was ‘in custody at her majesty’s pleasure’.

Mr Morrice also urged people to report incidents by calling the 101 non-emergency number, not through social media because police did not monitor sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Councillors are also set to look into the impact of IT provision on council working.

It will consider how the policy has been implemented and whether there needs to be any adjustments in the light of experience. It will also look at requests of individual examples.

LCC Coun Robert Parker, Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny Management Board, said: “These two topics we’ve identified are current and important public issues.

“Councillors will delve deeper into the details to find out more, speak to individuals involved and service users and recommend any ways in which things might be improved.”