In The Press » June 17th 2011 - Let there be light - Corby MEP joins the fights to get the street lights switched back on
Let there be light - Corby MEP joins the fights to get the street lights switched back on
'..UKIP's MEP Derek Clark attacks cynical county council...'
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UK Independence Party
From the Office of Derek Clark, MEP, East Midlands
Rowan House, 23 Billing Road, Northampton NN1 5AT
Tel: 01604 620064 Fax: 01604 636002
June 17, 2011
Corby MEP Derek Clark has joined the fight to get street lights switched back on.
Northamptonshire County Council is switching off half of Northamptonshire street lights to make a saving of £2m a year.
Corby was the first area affected and has had 3,800 lights turned off, sparking outrage in the town, with the launch of a Facebook protest page and a petition and marches calling for the lights to be switched back on,
Thousands of residents have backed the protest and as 33,000 lights slowly get switched off across the county, more and more furious householders are joining the fight.
East Midlands MEP Derek Clark, whose constituency covers the whole of Northamptonshire, has met with protesters Melanie Yule and Tony Clenaghan in Corby, and vowed to back their fight.
He said: "We all know cuts have to be made but this is a very, very cynical ploy by the county council. Switch them off in summer when the fewest people notice and by the time November comes it's too late.
"How will children walk home in the dark from school for instance? The protesters talked to me about the dozens of stories they have heard over the past few weeks, from the elderly too worried to go out at night, to an increase in crime, to accidents, even people thinking of giving up their jobs because they are too frightened to walk home along dark streets."
Mr Clark said the first modern street lights were installed in London in the 1880's and led to an immediate drop in crime. He said: "He said the protesters told me they feel like they are back in the dark ages and they are right.
"It appears the powers-that-be care little for Corby, which is why it was chosen to suffer this way before other parts of the county."
Mr Clark visited Tansfield Grove in Corby, where some lights had been switched off, some cut down completely, while the only working light was obscured by trees.
He also backed the residents' concerns over the county council proposals to introduce a private finance initiative, PFI, to provide new lights over the coming years.
He said: "That's a smokescreen. The county council is insulating itself against future complaints with a PFI - councillors will no longer be accountable for the lights. It's a way of holding the electorate at arm's length.
"People want adequate lights and they want them now - that's perfectly reasonable. I wonder if the council is aware it might be in conflict with EU health and safety regulations."
In total, the council is turning off 11,100 lights in Northampton, 3,400 in Wellingborough and 3,200 in Kettering, as well as hundreds across towns and villages in the county.
Mr Clark urged protesters to contact him with their concerns.
People can write to Mr Clark at The office of Derek Clark MEP, UK Independence Party, Suite 1, Rowan House, 23, Billing Road, Northampton, NN1 5AT, or e-mail him at email@example.com
Notes To Editors:
To speak to Derek Clark, MEP, please contact press officer Nick Tite on 01604 620064, or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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