LETTER: ‘We have seen precious little about how devolution will actually work’

I have just received my Chatteris Centrepoint leaflet which has an article on the front of it entitled “Lights Stay On” which explains Chatteris Town Council’s (CTC) decision to pay to keep the lights on from 2am to 6am after the county council made the decision to turn them off.

Firstly, I would like to make it clear that I believe that the lights should remain on and that CTC have probably made the correct decision in paying for it.

However, what this effectively means is that in Chatteris, if the article is correct, we now have street lighting controlled by the County Council, Fenland District Council (FDC) and certain lights paid for by CTC from 2am to 6am.

I also believe that the decision by various town councils to pay for the lights to remain on brings into question this seemingly ridiculous decision by CCC to turn them off in the first place as residents will end up paying for them anyway.

According to the article this comes at a cost of under £2 for taxpayers to fund the lights being left on overnight.

So, in our council tax bills, we now pay three separate organisations for street lighting. This situation is a total and utter shambles and bureaucracy gone mad.

This is at a time where devolution for East Anglia is currently being proposed which effectively means installing yet another layer of government bureaucracy which we as taxpayers will surely pay for.

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Our local councils are obviously not fit for purpose, street lighting being an obvious example of ridiculous bureaucracy and duplication. Instead of more bureaucracy, we need less.

I do not understand how devolution will help this in any way without removing at least one of the lower tiers of government below it (probably the county council).

On the point of devolution itself, we have seen precious little information about how this will actually work and it appears from the outside at least that it seems to be potentially being imposed on us with little or no consultation.

ALAN GOWLER

Chatteris

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