'Turn our lights back on': Council call to make overnight street lighting in Skegness 'legal requirement'

Skegness Town Council is calling on the Government to make it a legal requirement for overnight street lighting to be provided in Skegness.

Skegness Town Council are writing to the government to get the overnight lights reinstated in Skegness.

Skegness Town Council is calling on the Government to make it a legal requirement for overnight street lighting to be provided in Skegness.

The action follows a motion by Coun Richard Cunnington which was put to town councillors in the November meeting.

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Coun Cunnington said he wanted the council to write to HM Government to make it "a legal and statutory duty for local authorities like Lincolnshire County Council to provide streetlights in the middle of the night".

"This can try to help people living in a haven of fear for their safety when living their normal life either by working or socialising," he said.

The motion was seconded by Coun Danny Brookes.

In a second motion on street lighting, Skegness Town Council has called upon the Leader of Lincolnshire County Council to put the streetlights back on during 12am till 6am in Skegness.

Since the decision was made by Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) in 2017 to turn off Skegness' lights overnight as part an initiative to save £1.7million, the town council has explored the cost of getting them switch back on.

In March, the town council approached Lincolnshire County Council expressing public concern following the murder of marketing executive Sarah Everard in south London, promising they had "not given up the fight". An online petition, 'Getting the Local County Council to turn our street lights back on overnight' was relaunched, which now has 1010 signatures of the 1,500 needed to get the Government to debate it.

A Freedom of Information document shared with the Skegness Standard by Coun Steve Warmsley at the time revealed that for a typical Band C property, the contribution required by LCC would be '£1 per year'.

Coun Cunnington, on proposing the motion, said: "The public concern over the recent murders of women walking at night and vulnerable people being attacked at night is paramount.

"Our blacked-out roads during these times make the vulnerable feel unsafe when going to or coming home from work or socialising."

This motion was also seconded by Coun Danny Brookes.

In other business, Coun Cunnington proposed a motion that the council appoint a working group to establish the feasibility of taking on the grass cutting again without a fee to the church.

It was explained Skegness Town Council had a contract with the Skegness Parochial Parish Church to cut the grass at the open Churchyards at St Clements and St Mary’s Churches and also to undertake some other routine works. The church decided to finally end the agreement from July 31, saying that it could no longer afford to undertake the work and that the churchyards would in future be left to 'God's Acre'.

Coun Cunnington said: "Since then a number of residents have complained that the grass at the church is now untidy, at a time when our residents need things to look nice for their recreation and for the ground their loved ones are buried in to be respectable."

The motion was seconded by Coun Mark Dannat and town clerk Steve Larner spoke on the previous

arrangements and that clarification would be needed to determine the costs and under what powers work could be undertaken on behalf of the church.

It was resolved that the council appoint a working group to establish the feasibility of the council taking on the grass cutting again without a fee to the church and to report back to council with recommendation on or

before the January meeting.

The topic of the Mayoral allowance was the subject of a fourth motion, proposed by Coun Dan Kirk and seconded by Coun Carl Macey.

Coun Kirk asked: "Is it OK for our residence to foot the bill of giving the Mayor to get more spending money?

"We propose that this council does not further add to the financial stress and pressure of its residents by almost doubling the Mayor’s Allowance next year. Instead, the mayoral allowance remains at £2,880 for the coming financial year and inflationary increases in the years after.

It was resolved that the motion be deferred and a working group be set up with recommendations made to the next Management Committee.

The December meeting of Skegness Town Council takes place tonight (Wednesday, December 1), starting at 7pm.

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