How many councils does it take to switch on a light by a footpath? Three, apparently, plus a building developer.
The district council, county council and parish council are all involved in talks with developer McCarthy and Stone over the loss of the light alongside a footpath which leads to the village primary school, as well as shops and the centre of the community.
It’s just over a year ago that the nearby land was sold by the district council to McCarthy and Stone who are building retirement homes off Sandwich Road.
The light, which is at a right-angle junction, was switched off, and district Cllr David Hannent says he is having trouble finding out who is responsible for it.
“It is a regularly used pathway for everyone living over that side of the Sandwich Road,” he said. “But it seems no one wants to make it work except the villagers of Whitfield, the parish council and myself.”
McCarthy and Stone say they are talking to the district council and county council about the situation and hope to “resolve the issue as swiftly as possible”.
But Cllr Hannent says that’s not good enough.
“Our PCSO confirmed they have had problems with footpaths in the Whitfield area in the past and the fact that this light sits on a right-angle junction means that it is crucial to light both ways.
“The path will be in darkness from 5pm.”
No-one has been able to explain why the light was switched off in the first place, but the county council has confirmed it is talking with McCarthy and Stone to “advise” on how to turn the light on again.