Brentwood in darkness from February - but Tories refuse a discussion

December 12, 2013 10:59 PM
Street lights
At last night's Full Council meeting a Lib Dem motion proposed by Cllr David Kendall to delay the Part Night Lighting switch off in Brentwood to allow more time for consultation was defeated 16 votes to 13 with 4 abstensions.
Cllr Kendall had put forward the motion after having it confirmed that the lights were going to be switched off on 10th February 2014 but councillors, residents and local interest groups were not going to be given maps clearly showing where the lights would remain ON until January 24th. In his view this didn't give people enough time to study the maps and put forward their suggestions as to where other lights should remain ON across the Borough.
This important debate was cut short when the Deputy Leader Cllr Roger Hirst invoked a standing order calling for the vote to be taken immediately despite the fact that there were still a number of people wanting to speak. Sadly the Tory group backed his call and virtually all of them voted against the motion. Speaking afterwards he said:
" I am astonished that none of the Tory group were able to vote for this motion that would have called on the Cabinet Member Cllr Rodney Bass to give councillors, residents and interest groups more time to study maps highlighting where lights were going to be left ON and then give their additional suggestions. The Tories have shown once again that they haven't got Brentwood residents interests at heart and Cllr Hirst's little stunt has shown they are keen to use any means at their disposal to shut down debate. I believe the Tory group have badly underestimated just how big an issue part night street lighting is going to be when it's introduced across Brentwood in February and will regret the decision they made last night".