Letter of the week: villages lit by councils

Now that people are beginning to experience Warwickshire County Council’s part-night switching off of street lights (‘Darkness Descends’, Advertiser, February 7), it’s worth remembering that there are places where the street lights are remaining on throughout the night. In many of the villages surrounding Rugby, it is the local parish council that owns, operates and maintains street lighting, paid for by local residents out of the parish’s share of the council tax. In these villages, the lights will remain on throughout all of the night. Whilst it is obviously a matter for the county council as to when its street lights are to be switched on, people living in the more rural locations, where feelings of isolation from public services can often be more acute, can thank their parish council for ensuring that the roads and pavements remain lit throughout all the hours of darkness. Parish councils and their councillors, who are unpaid volunteers drawn from the local community, are often unfairly dismissed as irrelevant, but it is worth remembering that it is these bodies that are increasingly delivering essential public services that might otherwise no longer exist. Keeping open the local library or community centre threatened with closure, undertaking grass cutting to a higher standard than before, and keeping the streets and footpaths lit at night are all real examples of where parish councils are making a positive and welcome difference within Rugby borough.

Dan Essex

Chairman, Rugby Branch

Warwickshire Association of Local Councils