Springfield into darkness
Greens Slams Tories over fool hardy light turn off in Rugby
Is Councillor Peter Butlin Rugby's own Mr Burns we ask?
|Rugby Tory Councillor|
Who plunged Rugby
It appears we now have our own life like Mr Burns, the Simpsons character living amongst in Rugby – namely Bilton Tory Councillor Peter Butlin who like Mr Burns in one of the Simpsons cartoon episodes has now brought darkness to his town.
Peter Butlin with the support off his Tory chums on Warwickshire County Council is fronting this fool hardy scheme of turning off vast areas of public lighting in Rugby and Warwickshire to ‘save’ £500,000 and because they say they need to cut their carbon emissions.
This from a Tory council that managed to spend £60 million (twice as much budgeted) for the Western Relief road with resulting increase in pollution directly and indirectly for the people of Rugby especially when CEMEX builds their conveniently sited massive waste plant next to the new road and the River Avon.
Many of us in the Green Party would welcome the late conversion of local Tories to the merits of energy efficiency and cutting carbon emissions if they were actually doing it correctly and also taking into account community concerns over crime and public safety – but this move to plunge parts of our town into darkness is just another Tory cut in reality and nothing about dealing with climate change.
In Sheffield, the local council is installing Led lighting) Light Emitting Diode) on its 68.000 lamps over a 5 year time frame. These modern attractive lights offer a more focus glow directed downward so limiting light pollution and are greatly more efficient with the bulbs lasting for 25 years and will cut at least 60% of carbon emissions.
Our Green Party Councillors in Sheffield are correct to point out the need to include solar lighting as well as LED lights in the provision of lighting and also that central Government should be funding this scheme as part of the need to challenge climate change and also create green jobs for the future in the UK.
Rugby Green Party also believes that a tax should be levied on the massive profits of the energy companies to provide the funds for these 21st century public lighting schemes and other energy saving projects and also the local council could seek ways to have the lighting equipment manufactured locally to provide jobs in Rugby.
A big local concern is also that crime including violent crime is likely to increase because of the areas where the lights will go off – especially near the town centre where young women in particular are likely to be at greater risk due to trying to get home late at night and we in Green Party share this concern and in our view the turning off lighting should be immediately reviewed.
Peter Butlin and the Tories have a stark choice in our view to either cancel this frankly stupid and ill thought out plan and instead work with others who actually know how to save energy costs and keep our communities safe or face the consequences at the forthcoming County Council elections in May.
Also the local Lib Dem Councillors have a role to play and they should also ask their party in Government to stop these unfair and dangerous cuts to local councils, which is the real reason why we have this crazy plan to black out Rugby in the first place.
Regards - Roy Sandison – Rugby Green Party Spokesperson
Letter printed in Rugby Observer last week