Group’s disgust over contractor’s no-show

From left: Trevor Daisley, Joan Baker, Phillipa Daisley and Tony Roughton
From left: Trevor Daisley, Joan Baker, Phillipa Daisley and Tony Roughton
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A Wisbech group has said it is “disgusted” after a representative from Balfour Beatty failed to attend a meeting on Monday about the proposed streetlights changes in the town.

Wisbech and District Tenants and Residents’ Association chairman Tony Roughton said they were told it was because the press were invited.

“Why does it matter whether it’s going to be reported in the paper?” he said. “What have they got to hide?”

A Balfour Beatty representative was invited to the meeting to answer questions from residents about the plan to remove 272 streetlights from Wisbech. Residents want to know who is deciding which lights to remove and why there has been no consultation on the plans.

Tom Blackburne-Maze from Cambridgeshire County Council did attend the meeting but could not answer many of the questions posed by residents and members of the committee.

He said leaflets were circulated, but of the people at the meeting, only three had seen one.

Mr Roughton said: “I think Balfour Beatty was hoping to get the job done before people could realise and complain. The whole scenario just stinks.

“Until Balfour Beatty are at a meeting to answer our questions, we will never get any answers.”

It has been agreed that once the proposal is complete, the Association will receive a copy.

A statement from Balfour Beatty said: “The decision on which columns are to be removed is a joint one between Balfour Beatty and representatives from the County Council. Removals are necessary in order for the Council to achieve a targeted energy savings of 8.5m KWh per year.

“Information regarding the planned works in Wisbech was issued to the town council on 3rd November 2012, providing details of the project, and an indication of the number of removals that were anticipated to be taken from each street.

“Leaflets were issued to the local community of Wisbech in March 2013. These are small black pamphlets that give an overview of the project as opposed to details of specific removals. Balfour Beatty would be happy to circulate additional leaflets if required.”