Thursday, January 08, 2009

Street Lighting in Powys

A key part of my election strategy in Montgomeryshire in the 'team' approach - working with the newly elected Conservative councillors on Powys County Council. This is a new experience for us, because we've never before had any Conservative councillors in Montgomeryshire - and now we have six. This is not intended to be a partisan post, but I do really have to point out that the Liberal Democrats have been reduced to a measly two. Our 'team' don't always agree on everything, but we listen and we reason and we accept the majority opinion. Reason I mention this is that we've got an important meeting on Monday. There are two issues on the agenda.

First up is next year's Council Tax. My opinion is clear enough. It should not increase by a penny more than 2% - frozen at what can reasonably be expected to be inflation through 2009/10. Not sure whether the majority will go with this. They are the ones who have to face down the Council officers, with all those desperately important reasons why it should be increased by more. "We're still lower than the average for Wales - Blahdy Blah." And I won't be free to tell you what we conclude.

The other issue is street lighting in Powys, an issue that has put the county on the map of Britain. Although I thought that Councillors misjudged this issue when they decided to turn 67% of the lights off (without local consultation), I did think they had a point. If they had turned 33% of the lights off, and had consulted Community Councils first, I would have supported them. Anyway, tomorrow morning I'm meeting John Brautigum from Llanfyllin to discuss ideas he has been promoting for a while about reducing running costs of street lighting by changing the type of light. Something to do with Light Emitting Diodes. I'm sure that's wrong. My councillor colleagues tell me that Council employees have been suggesting this (in vain) for ages, and John first wrote to me well before Christmas. The reason we need to discuss it at the same time as we discuss Council Tax is that there's an upfront cost to installing the new equipment. I reckon that this could become a UK issue, so I'll do blog updates, and welcome comments.


Anonymous said...

Maybe part of your electon strategy should also be to point out to locals that their surrent MP writes for a crude porno rag of a "paper" and that, whilst we in Powys struggle to get an appointment with him because he shooses to be anywhere rather than the constituency, he's happy to join a London alliance and attend meetings about London and its problems. Surely this is not acceptable? It's yout duty to point this out locally. I've been trying to see him for some time but get the distinct impression that even his office in Newtown don't know where he is half the time

P-Man Cometh said...

Not intending for this pot to be partisan post, but is there any chance of 'converting' that "measly two" to a big fat measly ZERO?! I do hope so.

A VERY angry Powys voter! said...

To be absolutely honest Glyn, this is a bloody disgrace.

It is 2009 and Powys is in darkness at night in mid-Winter.

This is nothing to do with politics - party or otherwise - its all to do with poor governance and pathetic local authority and extremely poor council officers.

There is only one other place on this earth that currently sits in darkness at night with Powys. and its called Gaza City.

If Powys County Council cannot guarantee street lighting in 2009 for its people, then there is only course of action that must happen.

All its members must resign en masse and let the county have fresh elections to get people in there who can deliver on this important and basic service for the people.

The damage this is doing o the reputation of our county in terms of attracting inward investment when we most need it, is incalculable. What must people outside of the county think of this shambles.

So come on Glyn - say what has to be said.

Powys is in darkness in 2009. This is a bloody disgrace and the heads of ALL councillors of ALL parties need to roll.

There needs to be a fresh mandate to run this authority. Candidates must stand on a pledge to switch our lights back on!

This cannot continue for another week. Forget seeing new equipment - we need new representation and we need it now!

In the name of God, the current Powys Councty Council must go!

Anonymous said...

Well said VERY angry Powys voter I agree with your every word!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1 - That's coplete rubish I phoned his office the first week in December with a health problem and I got to see him later that week.

Anonymous said...

As a Powys resident, I disagree with the VERY angry Powys voter.
We really don't need all our lights on at full blast and have to look towards ways of saving energy. I think it's important you go see what's out there as a means of sorting this problem out.
In the meantime, perhaps we could resort to the old fashioned torch!

Anonymous said...

Although I agree with Angry Powys Voter about the disgrace and damage being done to this County by poor governance by PCC, it does seem a little unfair to blame ALL councillors of ALL parties when some, including all Conservatives, voted whole-heartedly to keep the lights on! I am not a member of the Tories nor do I act as an apologist for them, but in this important campaign to save Powys for its people, it is vital to recognise the good from the bad and the downright ugly! Blaming all, even your friends, serves no contructive purpose whatsoever apart from venting spleen.

A VERY angry Powys voter! said...

Anon 01:16:00 PM...... We will see what a great idea switching off lights is when the quarterly crime figures rural Powys for this winter are released!

As Glyn will know, there has been a worrying rise in the number of opportunist crimes in parts of Powys that have coincided with the lights being switched off. Old people in their homes are being put at risk by this madness. This is completely and utterly unacceptable in 2009.

This nothing to with climate change its to do with public safety and Powys County Council are undermining OUR safety by this reckless and stupid policy!

Wake up Powys! Organise youselves and either get the lights back on or ship the Council out!

Glyn, as i said previously, this is NOT a party issue. This matter goes way beyond that.

Please give us some leadership on this matter and lead Powys back into the 21st Century.

Give us light! Give us safety! Give us back our lives!

Street lighting is NOT a luxury - its a fundamental right in this day and age. If the Council cannot give us this basic service then they should hang thier heads in shame.

Due to this policy, Powys is raidly getting a reputation for being a place of ridicule - we cannot afford to carry this baggage!

Glyn Davies said...

Anon - You can only speak as you find. Anon 3 has commented to tell us about a different, more positive experience.

P man cometh - We're working on it - by doing a decent job as councillors.

a VAPV - Wow. Why not tell us what yo think. This is a complex issue, and I'll be posting on it quite a bit over the next day or two.

anon 4 - Someone was complaining to me that she couldn't take her dog for a walk - because she had a lead in one hand and a scoop on the other - so couldn't carry a torch !

Sarah Millington said...

Re very angry powys voter, I think it is good to hear everyone's opinion on this subject be it good or bad, complimentary or negative.

I personally have always considered the policy of switching off 2 in 3 lights a bad idea, an inoperable policy which would only serve to cause upset, unease, amongst residents from all over powys.

As you are aware there was a meeting of the full council on 23rd October 08 at which I put forward a motion supported by the other Conservative Councillors from across Powys, my motion was for an immediate review of the implementation of the process so far. I was hoping for a review of how the process to turn the lights off has been put into operation.

At the meeting there was also a motion from the Liberal Democrat group which albeit second to my motion was very similar and between the groups we came to a decision that we could put aside our political differences and work together on a joint motion, which we thought would have a better chance of gaining support from the full council and therefore being agreed upon.

Unfortunately as we were about to vote on the joint motion a independent member of council, Cllr Graham Brown put forward an amendment which was seconded and according to the democratic process had to be voted on first. This was passed with a majority of around 7 votes which rendered the joint motion null and void. The fact that the big switch off continued and was not stopped and reviewed immediately lies with Cllr Brown and other who voted to continue turning them out. The list of who voted which way is available.

There has been a review in Llandrindod and other areas and there are a significant number of lights back on as part night lights i.e on till 12.30pm and then off until 5.00am and then on again until 7.30am.

Having said all of the above and taking into account the obvious need to save money, reduce the amount of energy used, I did engage further with the community we worked together to identify areas where lights need to be turned back on permanently or put onto part time night lighting. I realised that we couldn't have all the lights that had been turned off put back on but I did ask for lights in prominent strategic locations agreed by myself and the residents.

Sarah Millington said...

Powys County Council

For Against
Cllr P Ashton X
Cllr Dawn Bailey X
Cllr Garry Banks X
Cllr Fred Barker X
Cllr Simon Baynes X
Cllr R G Brown X
Cllr John Brunt X
Cllr L Corfield X
Cllr Kelvyn Curry X
Cllr Aled Davies X
Cllr Dai Davies X
Cllr E R Davies X
Cllr Les Davies X
Cllr L R E Davies X
Cllr S C Davies ABSENT
Cllr David Evans X
Cllr G T Evans X
Cllr John Evans X
Cllr Viola Evans X
Cllr L Fitzpatrick X
Cllr Russell George X
Cllr G Gwylim ABSENT
Cllr Ken Harris X
Cllr R Harris ABSENT
Cllr P Harris X
Cllr Stephen Hayes X
Cllr Mike Hodges X
Cllr Ann Holloway X
Cllr Jeff Holmes X
Cllr G Hopkins X
Cllr David Jones X
Cllr E A Jones ABSENT
Cllr E M Jones X
Cllr F M Jones X
Cllr M J Jones X
Cllr T Jones X
Cllr W T Jones X
Cllr F Jump ABSENT
Cllr Peter LewiS ABSENT
Cllr W Lewis X
Cllr MMackenzie X
Cllr S McNicholas X
Cllr David Meredith X
Cllr Sarah Millington X
Cllr R H Mills X
Cllr E T Morgan X
Cllr G Morgan X
Cllr R W Morgan ABSENT
Cllr John Morris X
Cllr M E Morris X
Cllr K Pathak X
Cllr C E Powell X
Cllr W Powell X
Cllr D Price X
Cllr G Price ABSENT
Cllr P Pritchard X
Cllr G Ratcliffe X
Cllr Roberts Jones X
Cllr Joy Shearer X
Cllr K Silk ABSENT
Cllr John Steadman X
Cllr A G Thomas X
Cllr D G Thomas X
Cllr W Thomas X
Cllr Frank Torrens X
Cllr M Tunnicliffe X
Cllr T Van Rees ABSENT
Cllr Beryl Vaughan X
Cllr G P Vaughan X
Cllr A M Weale X
Cllr Richard White X
Cllr J Williams X
Cllr Avril York X


The above table is for everybodys information.

Very Angry Powys Voter says quite justifiably people must stand on the platform for turning the lights on.

The table detailed above tells people whether their councillor voted to continue turning them off or to stop and review what has been a difficult policy from the beginning.

I am quite happy to answer any questions through yourself and will provide as much information as I have.

Hope it helps people.

Glyn Davies said...

Sarah - You worked hard for the people you represent on this.

I'm not sure that the voting list indentifies who voted which way

Sarah Millington said...

Glyn, you'll see that the table lists all councillors and has for and against across the top, it was intended to be a table but has obviousbly not come out like that.

I'll type it again, no problem.

Cllr P Ashton - AGAINST
Cllr D Bailey - FOR
Cllr G Banks - AGAINST
Cllr F Barker - FOR
Cllr S Baynes - AGAINST
Cllr R G Brown - FOR
Cllr J Brunt - FOR
Cllr L Corfield- FOR
Cllr K Curry - AGAINST
Cllr A Davies - AGAINST
Cllr D Davies - FOR
Cllr E R Davies- FOR
Cllr Les Davies- AGAINST
Cllr LRE Davies- FOR
Cllr S C Davies- ABSENT
Cllr D Evans - FOR
Cllr G T Evans - FOR
Cllr J Evans - FOR
Cllr V Evans - FOR
Cllr L Fitzpatrick- AGAINST
Cllr R George - AGAINST
Cllr G Gwylim ABSENT
Cllr K Harris - AGAINST
Cllr R Harris ABSENT
Cllr P Harris - AGAINST
Cllr S Hayes - FOR
Cllr M Hodges - AGAINST
Cllr A Holloway - FOR
Cllr J Holmes - AGAINST
Cllr G Hopkins - FOR
Cllr D Jones - FOR
Cllr E A Jones ABSENT
Cllr E M Jones - FOR
Cllr F M Jones - FOR
Cllr M J Jones - FOR
Cllr T Jones - FOR
Cllr W T Jones - FOR
Cllr F Jump ABSENT
Cllr Peter LewiSABSENT
Cllr W Lewis - FOR
Cllr M Mackenzie- AGAINST
Cllr S McNicholas - FOR
Cllr D Meredith - AGAINST
Cllr S Millington- AGAINST
Cllr R H Mills - FOR
Cllr E T Morgan - FOR
Cllr G Morgan - FOR
Cllr R W Morgan ABSENT
Cllr John Morris - AGAINST
Cllr M E Morris - AGAINST
Cllr K Pathak - FOR
Cllr C E Powell - AGAINST
Cllr W Powell - AGAINST
Cllr D Price - FOR
Cllr G Price ABSENT
Cllr P Pritchard - FOR
Cllr G Ratcliffe - AGAINST
Cllr Roberts Jones- FOR
Cllr Joy Shearer - FOR
Cllr K Silk ABSENT
Cllr John Steadman FOR
Cllr A G Thomas - FOR
Cllr D G Thomas - FOR
Cllr W Thomas - FOR
Cllr Frank Torrens- AGAINST
Cllr M Tunnicliffe- FOR
Cllr T Van Rees ABSENT
Cllr Beryl Vaughan- FOR
Cllr G P Vaughan - FOR
Cllr A M Weale - AGAINST
Cllr Richard White- AGAINST
Cllr J Williams - FOR
Cllr Avril York - AGAINST

This list should be easier to understand. The for means they voted for Cllr Browns ammendment to continue turning the lights out and the against votes were no stop turning the lights out and have an immediate review.