Councillor has 180 complaints on lights

Stark contrast: an area with the old orange lights on the left and the new LED lights on the right.
Stark contrast: an area with the old orange lights on the left and the new LED lights on the right.
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As the controversial LED lighting scheme continues a local Councillor has revealed she has sent 180 lighting queries to the Department for Regional Development.

Councillor Carla Lockhart also said she had another 35 queries to follow.

This comes amid claims two people have had falls as a result of poor lighting, with the controversy continuing in the Lurgan area as well as in Portadown and Banbridge.

Cllr Lockhart said, “I as an elected representative am not shying away from this problem and will continue to work with the Department to try and get a resolve to the hundreds of complaints lodged by disgruntled people within our Borough.

“I have been inundated by complaints and concerns raised about the lighting and the fact that many people are unhappy and concerned for their personal safety and properties safety.

“I believe this scheme which was introduced by the then DRD Minister Danny Kennedy to have been ill thought out scheme which lacked consultation and proper planning.

“I do not in any way blame those individuals who have to manage it, have to roll it out, but I believe that better co-ordination of what was supposed to be a pilot scheme should have taken place in fact I would have to sympathise with them given the number of complaints and concerns they have had to deal with.

“The lighting change has worked in small pockets of areas because of the poles however, the vast majority of areas have poles that are not the right height or the right distance apart which is causing areas of blackness throughout developments and estates.

“On the 180 complaints submitted I am aware that they are being investigated and I look forward to hearing the outcome.

“Already I have spoken with two families whose loved ones have fallen and they have raised concerns that the lighting was a contributory factor in these falls.

“I will not stop until every area has been checked and alterations made to the poles if required to ensure that the light meets the required standard.

“I was disappointed to read Cllr Arnold Hatch’s comments concerning the blame game.

“This is an issue prevalent to the people, the fact of the matter is that the scheme when contractually signed off was done so by the then Minister and unfortunately we now find ourselves in a situation were areas have been plunged into darkness.”