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Bexley Council has today issued
a Press Release that I know will infuriate some BiB readers. It is headed
LED STREETLIGHTS PROVE A HIT WITH BEXLEY RESIDENTS.
Personally I think that the switch from sodium lighting to Light Emitting Diodes had to be done on environmental and cost grounds but Bexley Council would appear to be spinning the change over for all its worth.
My objection is as always based on Bexley Council’s remarkable addiction to lying. I knew the new lights were dimmer the first time I took my camera out at night and found I had to ramp up its sensitivity more than ever before. Council officials have subsequently confirmed that they are less than half as bright as the old sodium lamps. It may be a more pleasant light but the claim it is brighter is simply a lie.
I also doubt that they are as popular as Bexley Council would like us to believe. An email from the relevant Council department - it wasn’t even anonymous - makes it very clear that the move to disallow telephoned complaints about the new lights was solely because the Council couldn’t cope with the number and that internal Council squabbles between departments was a factor.
To combat the deluge of complaints you can now only complain about lighting problems now via a web form; in theory at least.
Not that that has stopped some people making their displeasure known. If it were not so voluminous I might publish some of the correspondence put out by Bexley Council to complainers; maybe I will one day.
A persistent problem is that the new lamps have a different illumination pattern to their predecessors and in some case now shine directly into people's bedrooms or on to their TV sets.
From what I have heard Bexley Council has yet to take this problem as seriously as it should. The shades that have been fitted in some places have proved to be ineffective and it has been very difficult to get anyone to come out and see the problem for themselves because the poor dears only work 9-5.
The Press Release fails to mention that the LED lighting programme has gone £200,000 over budget.
Listening to you, working for you.