Council spends £200,000 on street light consultation but residents don't get a say

August 06, 2012 3:53 PM

Hertfordshire County Council spent £200,000 on consultants over a proposed street lighting change without bothering to ask local residents for their opinion. But rather than admitting local residents should have been consulted, the Council has refused to apologise instead it insisted that consulting the public would not have been ‘useful’.

Local residents seem to disagree. In one area of the authority where lights have already been turned off 4,000 residents have signed a petition demanding they are turned back on.

Thankfully some councillors are on the resident’s side. Nigel Bell has blasted the expenditure, calling it "a joke". He added that “there is a massive amount of spending the county is doing that they should be looking at. It looks to me that they have got their priorities wrong.”

The council has a responsibility to examine all areas of spending when making tough budgetary decisions. Looking through the TPA's research archive would be a good start.Hertfordshire County Council spent £200,000 on consultants over a proposed street lighting change without bothering to ask local residents for their opinion. But rather than admitting local residents should have been consulted, the Council has refused to apologise instead it insisted that consulting the public would not have been ‘useful’.

Local residents seem to disagree. In one area of the authority where lights have already been turned off 4,000 residents have signed a petition demanding they are turned back on.

Thankfully some councillors are on the resident’s side. Nigel Bell has blasted the expenditure, calling it "a joke". He added that “there is a massive amount of spending the county is doing that they should be looking at. It looks to me that they have got their priorities wrong.”

The council has a responsibility to examine all areas of spending when making tough budgetary decisions. Looking through the TPA's research archive would be a good start.

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