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Petition by The Warren, Gravesend, resident sparks lighting campaign

People are being urged to sign an online petition campaigning for street lights to be switched back on.

Tina Brooker, who lives in The Warren, Gravesend, has set up the Right to Light e-petition on Gravesham council’s website.

Although the decision to switch many areas to part-night lighting has been made by Kent County Council, Gravesham council accepted Miss Brooker’s request.

The e-petition will be live until August 4.

If it reaches at least 1,500 signatures the issue will be debated by the full council later in the year.

Tina Brooker with letters to the council and angry residents.
Tina Brooker with letters to the council and angry residents.

For Miss Brooker, whose disabled neighbour hid for three hours in a wardrobe as would-be intruders tried to break in to her home just weeks after their nine street lamps had been turned off, it is just the start of her fight.

The 51-year-old legal secretary said: “I’m telling everyone to sign the e-petition.

“It was an irresponsible decision by KCC but they are not listening.

“Everyone seems to be angry about it. However, there can be a lot of apathy – people often moan but don’t do anything – and I’m trying to conquer that.

“People need to fight for their services and keep their communities safe.”

The Safe and Sensible lighting initiative was introduced in April with around 70,000 street lights switched off across the county between midnight and 6.30am.

The aim is to reduce energy costs, carbon emissions and light pollution.

The Messenger has called for a u-turn with its ‘Let there be Light’ campaign, as the saving roughly represents just 0.05% of the council’s budget.

“People need to fight for their services and keep their communities safe.”

Miss Brooker has bombarded KCC with emails asking officers to review its decision in The Warren due to the isolated position and adjacent woodland.

However, the grandmother was told that exclusion criteria did not apply to the quiet cul-de-sac, and her suggestion for intermittent lighting was rejected on the grounds of safety for motorists.

She has now contacted the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), which was involved in the KCC consultation process, to ask whether swathes of dark and light are considered safer.

Gravesham MP Adam Holloway has written to Miss Brooker saying he “appreciates” her concerns and has made written representations to Cllr David Brazier (Con), KCC’s cabinet member for transport and environment.

“This e-petition is just the first step in my fight,” said Miss Brooker, who has also set up a Neighbourhood Watch group.

“I just wonder how much residents have to put up with before they turn them back on.”

To sign the e-petition, click here.

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