Lebanon Road residents left in the dark by “indifferent” council

Residents in Lebanon Road have filed a formal complaint to the council, accusing it of “indifference” to their plight, after their street has been plunged into darkness, with no street lighting for nearly a week, creating obvious risks for accidents on the long winter nights, but also helping a local crime wave.


Have Croydon Council’s contractors for street lights turned their backs on Lebanon Road?

The lights went out on Lebanon Road last Tuesday. It was not until the weekend that Phil Thomas, the council cabinet member responsible for the state of our streets, promised the Addiscombe residents to look into the lighting outage. Let’s hope he has a powerful torch.

No explanation for the lighting failure, or the failure of the contractors, Skanska, to whom the council has out-sourced this service, to fix the issue has been offered.

The affected area is the section of Lebanon Road north of the junction with Cedar Road.

“This situation has been reported by various residents,” said Rod Davies, a spokesman for the residents’ association. “There is no street lighting during the hours of darkness. Neither have relevant officers attempted to keep residents informed and provide advice regarding the reason for the extended outage and when lighting will be restored.”

Davies says that residents are particularly anxious because of a spate of burglaries. There have been four burglaries in the area in four months, and a rise in minor crimes reported in the past week of darkness.

“The loss of street lighting has also increased the hazard to pedestrians, especially the elderly and small children, from fast-moving traffic that uses the northern section of Lebanon Rd as a cut through,” Davies said.

No problems with the lights at Croydon Council's £140m HQ

No problems with the lights at Croydon Council’s £140m HQ

Residents’ parked cars have also been damaged by some less careful drivers. In the darkness of the evening rush hour, Davies said that the traffic on the street has seen loud and angry exchanges between some drivers and occasional outbreaks of violence.

Meanwhile, the lights in Croydon Council’s £140 million glass palace headquarters continue to glow brightly each evening.

So that’s alright then.

6pm UPDATE: The lights on Lebanon Road, and other nearby Addiscombe streets including Tunstall Road, Addiscombe Court Road and Leslie Park Road, were back and working. The council website had advised that the situation would be corrected by December 31 (seriously).

The issue was a problem with the power supply, and the responsibility of UK Power Networks. To date, no explanation as to why it has taken a week to fix has been offered to residents.

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6 Responses to Lebanon Road residents left in the dark by “indifferent” council

  1. Rod Davies says:

    Credit where credit is due, Cllr Thomas did reply to emails and did chase officers on a Sunday when we were at the end of our tether. But the absence of any communication from any of the officers or Skanska is illuminating. It’s as though all the emails& reports using the on-line system, even Cllr Thomas’s, have disappeared into a dark hole.

    I have some sympathy for Cllr Thomas, he’s responded to a resident’s complaint, stood up for the Council officers and frankly in my opinion they have let him down. He would have taken just a few moments to email us to inform me of the problem and when it might be fixed.

    I have just been told (as I type this) by Cllr Watson that the problem is a fault with the power supply and UKPN are aware of the issue. Couldn’t Skanska have simply responded to reports and told us that in the beginning?

  2. Rod Davies says:

    Lights back on at last!

  3. This unfortunate experience is no surprise. I drew attention to the fact that such situations would happen in my History & Social Action Blog posting ‘Room for Negotiation on Croydon Street Lights’ on 24 July. John Algar, the Council officer in charge of overseeing the Skanska street lighting replacement contract, had acknowledged to me that because the new lighting would be supplied from the local grid, not the previous Council dedicated network, it would go out in the event of a power failure in the street, along with power to people’s homes. As I pointed out in my blog this of course will leave a street in complete darkness. Algar said that the information was not available on how many localised power failures there have there been in Croydon in each of the last three years up to 31 March 2013. I had warned the Scrutiny Committee on 11 June that various concerns were bubbling up around the Borough, and urged it to hold a review of the programme, as explained in my blog posting ‘Hugging Street Lights in Croydon’ on 5 July.

  4. davidcallam says:

    Did Sean mention he writes a blog?

  5. Oops. I clearly misread the posting. The issue of the possibility of a combined power failure of domestic electricity and street lighting remains a possibility.

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