Residents of Hawick street plead to be left in dark

Councillor Davie Paterson with Jim Matthews, a resident concerned about the new street lights in Gladstone Street, Hawick, being left on all day.
Councillor Davie Paterson with Jim Matthews, a resident concerned about the new street lights in Gladstone Street, Hawick, being left on all day.

Street lights that stay on all night and day are depriving householders in Hawick of sleep, bleary-eyed locals say.

Some residents of Gladstone Street say they have been unable to get much shut-eye of late because new energy-saving lights there are on around the clock and they’re now urging Scottish Borders Council to leave them in the dark.

They have also accused the council of wastefulness and environmental irresponsibility.

However, the council says the problem is an issue for the supplier of the new LED lights installed in the street, adding that it is being addressed.

The matter has been raised by Hawick and Hermitage councillor Davie Paterson, and he said: “My constituents are extremely concerned that Scottish Borders Council has street lights burning 24/7 when there is absolutely no need for it.

“Some of them can’t get any sleep at night because of the light streaming into their homes, and urgent action needs to be taken.

“It can’t be any fun, especially when you have to get up for work in the morning.

“They are especially concerned as the council is having to make so many cutbacks in other areas – for example, changing the grass-cutting regime from every two weeks to every month.

“They can make those cuts and yet can burn lights every hour of the day.

“What about a bit of consideration for the environment?”

The council spokesperson said: “The council is aware of an issue with the new LED lights in Gladstone Street, Hawick, where the lights remain switched on.

“Officers continue to hold discussions with the supplier in an effort to fix this issue as quickly as possible.

“There is no additional cost to the council from this issue.

“The LED lighting scheme has seen almost all street lights – 17,800 – as well as 1,200 signs and bollards in the Borders changed to energy-efficient lights over a four-year period.

“The project is delivering significant financial savings each year in reduced energy costs while also improving the performance of street lighting across the region.”