Safety groups across Southend On Sea are celebrating today with the news that a compromise has been reached over nighttime street lighting across the borough. While there were some fears that Southend would follow the example set in the rest of Essex with no lighting overnight, the Southend News Network has EXCLUSIVELY learned that dimmer switches will be installed on every lamp post.
In papers that have been ‘leaked’ to us, it has become clear that Big Barry Lighting of South Southchurch has been awarded a £187.5m contract to convert three lamp posts per month in the borough to the new system until the work is complete. Every dimmer switch will be installed at a reasonable height so that they can be adjusted by local residents.
Perry Ambiance, council councillor for street furnishings, explained the new system to one of our journalists. He said, ‘We have listened to residents of Southend carefully, and it is clear that they do not want their borough to become the lifeless and terrifying abyss that can be seen throughout the rest of Essex every single night. Therefore, we will not be following this pattern – instead we will be installing dimmer switches on every lamp post.’
He continued, ‘Every lamp post dimmer switch can be controlled by a local resident or passer by – this is great when you have a bit of a headache or want to get down to business. No other borough in the country is doing this for their residents.’
However, community safety campaigner Howard Tostada remains to be convinced. He said, ‘This is all well and good, but a number of kids will look to cause trouble and turn them up and down rapidly to create a bit of a disco. I am also worried about the council’s choice of contractor – what if we have a whole street where the dimmer switches hum in unison.’
In another late development, Southend News Network can EXCLUSIVELY confirm that the project is currently £10m over budget before the first lamp post has even been converted. We have discovered that a council employee will face disciplinary proceedings after he purchased 10,000,000 energy-saving bulbs from The Range by Southend Victoria Station, and the lighting contractor then advised that these are unsuitable for dimmer switches and would take three weeks to warm up. As the employee has now lost the receipt and paid cash, no refund can be obtained.