Estate residents feel singled out in lighting cuts

EAST Sussex County Council has denied that Tilling Green residents are being singled out in proposed street lighting cuts in Rye.

Many residents on the estate are unhappy that Tilling Green is one of just two sites in the town which will see street lights being turned off completely between 12.30pm and 5.30am.

And Rye county councillor Keith Glazier said there was “not a hope” of footpaths and potholes on the estate being repaired before the lights go out.

Cllr Glazier was responding to a request from Rye Town Council planning committee chairman Adam Smith, who asked for an assurance that repairs would be done first.

Cllr Smith said: “There is very limited lighting on the estate already and lots of trip hazards.”

Cllr Glazier said: “We have 18 lorries on the road each day dealing with hundreds of pot-holes across the county and I cannot honestly say all repairs will be done before the lighting reduction programme comes in.

“If people report pot-holes they will be dealt with a soon as possible.”

Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said: “The county council’s pot-hole reporting line is extremely efficient. I don’t think it is fair to demand repairs are carried out before-hand.”

Cllr Heidi Foster said: “People on Tilling Green are worried. There are quite a lot of old people there.”

Cllr Glazier responded: “Fear of crime doesn’t always stack up to actual crime, a lot of it is in the mind.”

Just 31 people attended a public exhibition on the street lighting reduction plans at Rye Library on Saturday morning.

Cllr Glazier said; “The majority were not in favour, but some who had doubts were reassured by the information.

“The public view seems to be that Tilling Green is being targeted, which is not the case.

“Several people took away forms to fill in with their views and the public consultation is continuing for two weeks online.”

Cllr Jonathan Breeds asked about LED technology, which the council had been told was not currently available.

Cllr Glazier said: “We are looking into it but it is not always compatible with the current equipment we are replacing”

Cllr Bernardine Fiddimore said: “Torches come in many sizes these days and are extremely powerful, even those you get on keyrings.

“There is no reason that anyone cannot see where they are walking these days.”

Cllr Glazier said: “This programme is being done through necessity. It is tax payer’s money we are trying to save.

“If it comes down to a choice between cutting services for older people or turning of street lights where it does not have an adverse effect, then why wouldn’t you do it?”