Dear fellow local resident,
As you know, we have been campaigning against the removal of the cast iron street lighting columns in the Kite. Sadly, we were
unable to persuade the Council or its contractor to leave them where they were.
We have, however, been successful in persuading the City Council to fund the replacement of the cast iron columns with modern 'heritage style' columns, similar to the kind you can see on Jesus Green. Though this is obviously not 'the real thing', we think these provide an historical marker and are preferable to the 'one-size-fits-all' model which is being installed in most other places.
The Council have told us that an order is being made for 10 of these columns so that they’re available for installation before next summer. According to the City Council plan, the following cast iron columns will be replaced by the heritage style:
Christchurch Street - all the current 3;
Fair Street - both the current 2;
New Square (east side) - both the current 2;
Earl Street - 3 of the current 4 (we understand that the 4th will not be replaced as part of the overall reduction in number of lights).
Victoria Street excluded
However, we were astounded to discover that the Council has decided not to include Victoria Street in its plan.
We believe it would be a real travesty if this decision was to stand.
Until March last year there were three cast iron columns in Victoria Street which, without prior warning, were removed. This was at a time it had been agreed that there would be discussions about the future of the columns - and these discussions had not finished.
The local Lib Dem team tried to step in but unfortunately couldn’t stop the removals there; though we did stop this happening elsewhere. We won an apology from the contractor, acknowledging that this should not have happened.
Shamefully, the City Council defends the exclusion of Victoria Street in its plan for heritage columns because the street has already lost its cast iron columns! In our view they have either miscalculated or tried to cut corners. In either event, they failed to talk to residents and councillors to be sure they got it right.
We aim to fight this further, with the intention of adding three heritage replacement columns for Victoria Street!
Hopefully more positive news soon.
Cllr Tim Bick