Monday 7 November 2011


Last week a man came and painted a number 10 on the pavement outside our house.  I'd seen the lamp posts going up in the next street, so I knew what was coming.  Today we got our 'NOTICE OF STREET LIGHTING WORKS IN YOUR AREA letter from Amey, on behalf of Birmingham City Council.

The letter informs me we should expect nearly 100,000 lamp posts over the next five years, replacing 50% of street lamps in Birmingham, with new super efficient 'state of the art LED technology', helping Birmingham reduce it's carbon reduction commitments.  There is no mention of improving lighting, which as we are replacing lamp for lamp, I guess isn't the purpose of lamp post replacement.

My favourite Lamp post
What's happening to all the old lamp posts?  Maybe they've got some scheme, like the Blackpool lights going to Walsall?  100,000 lamp posts is a lot, and it would be kind of nice to know where my much loved green lamp post is going.  Also how much is it costing, and what is the carbon footprint for replacing the existing, working order, lamp posts?  Afterall, it only seems a couple of years ago the Council ran a consultancy to find out what colour we wanted them all painting.  How old is my lamp post, and what is the life expectancy of the new lamp posts?

So many questions I wanted the Council to shine a light on, so I rang the 'further information' number helpfully provided on the letter.  Within ten minutes I was talking to the helpful Mo, who not surprisingly couldn't answer my queries off the cuff, but has given me a service number, taken my email and phone number.

In the lamp post lottery, and recent re-surfacing of our road, our street has done rather well.  Can't help worrying about the overall strategy and costs.  The street done before us was Wheelers Lane, where kerbs have been raised, lamp posts cut and replanted, all along the road, including the entrance of Wheelers Lane School.  Outside the school has made national and local headlines for cars parked dangerously, and a lollipop man run over three times.  Despite the school entrance being built 5 years ago and many of the staff, parents and children having accidents and near accidents, only objections from the Headteacher has prevented the (inadequate but better than nothing) temporary barriers put up only this September from being removed completely.

Please follow Wheelers Lane Safe Route to school to find out more, and keep up the pressure on Councillor Martin Mullaney and others in our Council to prioritise the safety of our children.

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  1. It's got to be about contracts and not about what actually needs doing and somewhere along the line there'll be a friendship being serviced!

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