Mayor says Town Council won’t turn out the lights

Cllr. John Duffy, Monica McKeon is Regional Coordinator with Momentum, Mayor Peggy Nolan, Cllr. Mae Sexton and Siobhan Kinsella Director at CPL Learning in the Longford Arms Hotel. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie
Longford Town Mayor, Peggy Nolan has reacted to rumours that the local authority could be prepared to switch off street lighting in certain areas of the town. A proposal was recently put before the Town Council which recommended the move as a cost-cutting measure.

Longford Town Mayor, Peggy Nolan has reacted to rumours that the local authority could be prepared to switch off street lighting in certain areas of the town. A proposal was recently put before the Town Council which recommended the move as a cost-cutting measure.

“Absolutely not,” she said, when asked if councillors were prepared to agree to the proposal. “As far as I’m concerned, nowhere in the urban area should be without lighting. “Yes, we were asked to make submissions suggesting areas where the lights could be turned off, but we’re not going along with it.”

Citing disappointing results of tests with energy-efficient public lighting, Cllr Nolan highlighted the problems that could arise if areas of the town were left in darkness. “Street lighting was downgraded in College Park and the Demesne when it was decided to install new energy-saving bulbs,” she said. “It was not a success, and there has been a rise in crime in one of those areas. It was also suggested that the lights in the Mall could be turned off at night, but this cannot be allowed to happen because the installation of lighting has curtailed anti-social activity in the area.”

The Mayor also admitted that no costings had been submitted with the proposal, which added further uncertainty: “We weren’t given a breakdown of figures, so we’re not even sure how much money something like this would actually save.”

Cllr Nolan revealed that her views on the issue were shared by her fellow local representatives. “Nowhere in the urban area can do without lighting and the town councillors are unanimously against the proposal and won’t be nominating any parts of the town in their submissions,” she assured. “It remains to be seen what will happen with the County Council, though.”