Councillors kick up over Laois County Council refusing one-off rural lights

Rural security

Councillors kick up over Laois County Council refusing one-off rural lights

Single streetlights to deter criminals from robbing rural Laois houses, are being refused by the council even though the cost is offered by local councillors.

The lights cost about €3,000, and councillors want to pay for them from their own discretionary budgets.

Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald from Portlaoise said she was refused lights for two people.

“We have no say on location. I promised streetlights to one or two people, to be paid out of my funding, and three years later I still can’t get them. It is important that councillors have more say. I am appealing the council to meet us halfway. This is an important issue for people in our areas,” she said.

Cllr Paschal McEvoy wants a committee formed to plan rural lighting.

“The countryside is ravaged with robberies. Lights are badly needed,” he said.

Cllr Mary Sweeney said they did have “huge freedom” to put in single lights.

“It’s now become an issue with our engineer, he states that three lights are needed not one. It is one of the most valuable things you can give in isolated areas,” she said.

Cllr Seamus McDonald from Rosenallis said he had also allocated money for lights at houses but was told the locations were wrong.

Director of Services for roads Kieran Kehoe suggested that instead CCTV cameras could be installed, because they are grant aided.

“Your issues are around security. We are the pilot county for CCTV, and it was a huge success in Errill and Borris-in-Ossory. A national scheme could provide security,” he said.