When the Parish Council became quorate again in April, it inherited a number of difficult unresolved issues. One of these was that of the streetlighting in Widmer End. The issue of this streetlighting is full of confusion and uncertainties. The Parish Council wished to be proactive in finding a resolution to this situation.
The Council had set up a Streetlights Working Group last year but it had become inquorate. The Councill appointed two new members to the Working Group and their recommendations were presented to Council in July and accepted.
The Council instructed the Clerk to explore whether Bucks Council intended to take up the responsibility for the lighting, or whether the Windmill Estate Maintenance Company (WEMC) wished to take them on, and authorised the Working Group to initiate a consultation process with Widmer End residents. The Council decided to set an eight-month deadline to resolve the issue, stating that if no other resolution could be found, it would cease to pay for the lighting from the end of March 2023.
The Council acknowledges that many Widmer End residents are concerned about this initiative, particularly how turning off the lights may affect safety and levels of crime and anti-social behaviour. The Council wishes to make clear that all options are on the table for consultation. It looks forward to continuing to hear residents’ views as the process evolves.
Following initial meetings with representatives of WEMC and Widmer End Residents Association (WERA) a number of areas have been identified for further research. The dialogue with Bucks Council is also moving forward. Further resolutions are expected to come to Council in either October or November deferring the consultation process while these options are explored, and delaying the decision-making deadline to allow time for a consensus view to evolve. The Council expects to resume consultations early in the New Year.