Laois in the dark claims Fleming

Laois County Council have hit back at claims from a local TD that public lights are being switched off across the county.

Laois County Council have hit back at claims from a local TD that public lights are being switched off across the county.

Sean Fleming, Fianna Fail, said he had been contacted by numerous people regarding public lights throughout the county that are not working and are not going to be turned back on by Laois County Council.

“Some areas in the county are now in the dark and Laois County Council have decided that these lights should not be turned back on due to financial reasons. People should not have to find out about this when they ring to report a light gone in their area,” he said.

“The days of keeping the county and the people in the dark should be long since gone,” he said.

At this year’s budget meeting, councillors heard that it would cost the council €1.22m to keep the county lit this year.

In 2011, county manager, Peter Carey, labelled the cost of street and other public lighting as a “huge burden.”

Kieran Kehoe, Director of Services with LCC said he catagorically stated the council have no policy of turning public lights off.

“Usually it takes between three and five days from when a light is reported to getting it back on.”

Mr Kehoe said two junctions on the N7 had a reducation in the number of lights, but he said this was the removal of an excess which was wasting money, when the road was downgraded .

“There is definitely no policy in relation to turning off public lights in Laois,” he said.