Faulty streetlights a result of chronic underfunding for councils, Lib Dems claim

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More than 200,000 streetlights were reported as broken last year – with some lamps taking years to fix, according to Liberal Democrat research.

The Lib Dems obtained the data through Freedom of Information requests which the party says highlights “chronic underfunding” for councils.

Some 204,390 streetlights were reported broken, according to figures provided by 58 councils across the country.

Hampshire County Council was the worst affected with 29,975 faulty lights, followed by Surrey County Council with 13,789 and Staffordshire County Council with 13,763.

Cheshire East took the longest time to fix a broken streetlight after it had been reported, with a delay of more than three-and-a-half years.

Bristol City Council had the second longest delay, with one light left broken for nearly two years.

The Liberal Democrats criticised the Government for requiring police forces and local councils to bid for funding under the current Safer Streets Fund, a Government programme launched in January 2020.

By January 2023, local authorities had spent £120 million on initiatives including street lighting, according to the Government.

In August 2022, the Local Government Association claimed increasing costs for electricity had led to councils dealing with a 37.5 % increase in the cost of running and repairing streetlights in the first half of that year, with some authorities reporting their running costs had doubled.

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