Council shown in bad light over lamp posts

SCOTTISH Borders Council is being urged to remember that it has a “duty of care” to the people of Burnfoot, and to give urgent attention to more than 20 street lights which have gone out.

The local authority came under fire at a meeting of Burnfoot Community Council on Tuesday night, where it was heard that not only are numerous parts of Burnfoot and Mansfield in the dark - but the safety of children and motorists is at risk. And the situation is further compounded by lamp posts without numbers, which SBC says it needs in order to repair them.

Councillor Stuart Marshall, who has counted 22 defective lights in streets including Burnfoot Road, Mansfield Road, Eastfield Road and Burnhead Road to name only a few – including the non-illumination of a Give Way sign and road bollard – told the Hawick News: “This problem is widespread throughout the ward and obviously due to the council relying on the public to call and report. This is good and well if the identity number is actually on these columns. I went to see for myself, and there does appear to be many lighting columns which are not identified either by number or letter, and this simply isn’t good enough.”

And voicing his concerns that a lack of lighting puts the community in danger, he added: “In some areas there are real safety issues, especially where traffic volumes are high and kids are out playing.”

Such a worry is shared by Burnfoot Community Council chairman Richard Knight, who angrily stated: “It’s shocking that we have to keep going back to the council about this. Burnfoot is a large estate with lots of kids so there is a real safety issue here. It’s difficult to get anything done but the council has a duty of care. They should step up and get things sorted.”

An SBC spokesperson commented: “With 19,000 street lights across the Borders, there is always the possibility of a number of lights not working at any one time. When we are made aware of an issue, the council will make repairs as soon as possible. Members of the public can report a light not working by visiting and assist further by providing the lamp post number and street name. Alternatively, a fault can be reported by phoning 0300 100 1800.”