Eighty-five of Westmeath’s public lights currently unlit

Eighty-five of the 9,200 public lights in Westmeath are reported to be currently unlit. The council’s senior executive officer Declan Leonard revealed the figures to councillors at Tuesday’s meeting of Mullingar Town Council.

He said Westmeath County Council currently maintains 9,200 public lights, and that 99.1 per cent of these lights are currently lit, with 0.9 per cent or 85 lights reported as unlit.

He was responding to a motion from Cllr Ken Glynn, who asked for an explanation as to why “there is such a delay in having public lights repaired once they have been reported by members of the public”.

Mr Leonard explained that a ‘job ticket’ is generated for every fault that is reported, and the contractor then has 10 working days to attend to the fault, though it is acknowledged that more complex repairs may take longer.

Over the past month (December 25-January 24 ), 316 job tickets were issued. Of these, 34 per cent were generated by fault reports from members of the public, while the remainder were identified during the monthly night patrol.

Of these 316 tickets, 19 remained open after 10 working days. And of these 19 tickets that remain open, 13 have been inspected but are identified as cable faults or having access issues but require further attention.

According to Mr Leonard, the contractor has “in all likelihood already attended these remaining six job tickets, but has yet to report them on the system”.

A total of 2,194 job tickets were issued in 2013.

Mr Leonard added that the contractors can be called in to deal with emergency situations, for example in cases where more than one light is out in the one area.

While Cllr Glynn suggested the 10-day timeframe may be too long, Mr Leonard said this is a standard timeframe for local authorities which had been agreed with the contractor.

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