Heated debate on controversial street lights switch-off in Grantham

Victoria and Nathan Nicholas Barry, owners of The Lunch Box.

Victoria and Nathan Nicholas Barry, owners of The Lunch Box.

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A heated debate was broadcast on radio this week, on the topic of street lights and the impact following the county council’s decision to switch some off at night.

Challenging Councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways at Lincolnshire County Council, was Grantham businessman Nathan Nicholas-Barry.

He featured on the front page of the Journal last week after his mobile catering van, The Lunch Box, was burgled twice in four weeks.

He believes the burglaries are a direct result of the switching off of lights on the Manthorpe estate, where he lives with wife Victoria and their eight-year-old twins.

He was able to demand answers from Coun Davies on BBC Radio Lincolnshire on Tuesday morning, on Scott Dalton’s show.

Mr Nicholas-Barry, 32, asked the councillor why the council could not switch off every other light or extend the hours they are switched on. They are currently turned off just after midnight outside his home in Northcliffe Road.

Coun Davies replied: “Alternative lights has been looked out elsewhere in the country and one of the concerns raised by professional engineers is that street lights are put at a certain distance so that as people are driving around the lights don’t create a blinkered effect. One of the concerns where it’s been tried is that it’s quite distracting to drivers as they drive around to go from bright to dark to bright to dark.”

He added that the majority of people living in Lincolnshire do not have street light outside their homes.

He went on to say that street lights exist to light roads for drivers, not to light up people’s driveways, to which Mr Nicholas-Barry said: “Residents are feeling more scared in their own homes, workers, etc to leave their houses. The lights are there to keep us safe, they are there to light up our residential area otherwise they would never have been put here years and years ago.”

Coun Davies said the county council was forced to make cuts to frontline services as a result of cost-savings measures they are being forced to make.

Mr Nicholas-Barry and his wife have launched a petition calling for the lights to be reinstated, which they plan to deliver to the county council offices. Find the petition at tinyurl.com/nicholas-barrypetition

* What do you think? Email comment@granthamjournal.co.uk