At the April meeting of Kells Town Council, local Councillor Sean Drew raised the issue of the delay in Meath County Council taking in charge the public lighting in housing estates. At the meeting, the Fianna Fáil Town Councillor outlined his concerns and his proposal to resolve the problem.
Cllr Drew stated “I have received a large number of complaints from residents in housing estates throughout Kells that are concerned over security and health & safety issues within their estates due to faulty non working street lights. In situations where the developer has not completed the street lights to the required standard and furnished a RECI certificate to its planning department, Meath County Council will not take the lights in charge. This has the effect that the Public Lighting Unit of Meath County Council will not repair any faulty lights and they remain the responsibility of the developer. Unfortunately in many of these housing estates the developer company is no longer trading, solvent or even contactable.
At the April meeting of Kells Town Council, I raised this issue and requested the Council officials to outline what action Meath County Council are taking against the relevant developers to progress the taking in charge the public lighting in these estates. Specifically, I requested an update on the status of the public lighting in the Tobar Ban, Rochford Hall, Westfield, Cherryhill Court and The Glebe, housing estates in the town. The Council officials advised that in the majority of these estates the developer had been issued with a snag list but that the Council was awaiting outstanding works to be completed before taking the street lights in charge.
On receiving this response I suggested that the Council directly engage an electrical contractor to carry out the necessary works to bring the lights to the required standard and issue the RECI certificate. The electrical contractors’ costs incurred, to be paid by the Council and then charged and deducted from the developers bond. The costs of the works required on the lighting will be relatively small in the context of the overall bond retained by the Council.
It is both unreasonable and unjust that householders and residents have to endure the inconvenience and anxiety arising from faulty and inadequate estate street lighting, in many cases, years after purchasing their homes. This is even more unfair now as those householders have been burdened with the additional charge of the new Property Tax despite the lack of proper public lighting provision in their estates. I intend to continue to pursue this matter with the Council, with the objective of having the Council taking the necessary action to take the street lighting in these estates in charge at the earliest opportunity.”