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Review threat over Basildon street light turn off
A SENIOR councillor has threatened to take his Tory colleagues at County Hall to a judicial review as the fallout over the authority’s streetlights continues.
John Dornan, Basildon Council’s cabinet member for the environment, put together his authority’s response to Essex County Council’s plan to turn off 70 per cent of lamps in the borough from November 18.
But he has been left despairing after claiming that County Hall has not even acknowledged his authority’s response to a consultation on turning off the lights from midnight to 5am, which started on September 2.
He has now threatened to take County Hall to a judicial review over how it has handled the consultation process, and has revealed that officials from the authority promised Basildon Council a map of what lights were going to turned off.
But just two days before the maps will be published to the public, they have yet to be forthcoming.
Mr Dornan, who represents Laindon Park, said: “I spent hours putting together our detailed response to the consultation and they have never had the decency to respond to us or even tell us they have received it.
“It’s outrageous that they have just totally ignored it.
“It isn’t acceptable that they haven’t entered any sort of dialogue with the boroughs like Basildon that show concerns over this.
“We might look into the possibility of a judicial review over this whole process.”
Earlier this week, County Hall deferred turning off the lamps until November 18, to give residents the time to digest the information on Friday.
Originally, County Hall was going to publish the maps on Friday – the same day the lights were set to go out.
But campaigners and councillors have blasted the whole consultation process, as residents were told to go through their borough councils to respond rather than County Hall direct.
The authority also refused to publish a map of what streetlights it had in mind to turn off before the consultation was launched.
Tony Ball, leader of Basildon Council, added: “We were promised the maps a month ago and clearly that hasn’t happened, which is totally unsatisfactory.”
Switching off the lights in Basildon will shave just £220,000 off County Hall’s yearly bill.
County Hall claims that an aknowledgement was actually sent to Basildon Council.
A spokesman said: “Essex County Council has always agreed to provide maps identifying which lights are due to be switched off under the part-night lighting scheme prior to any lights being switched off.
"In line with this, we have has pushed back the start date for part-night lighting in Basildon by two weeks, to give residents and local councillors the opportunity to view the plans."
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