Newport war veteran calls for street lights to switch-on

Newport war veteran calls for street lights to switch-on

LIGHTING WORRY: Anthony Lock is afraid switching off streetlights near his home may lead to him falling

FAMILY: Mr Lock with partner Rhiannon and daughter Katie

SERVING SOLDIER: Anthony Lock was injured in 2009

First published in News South Wales Argus: Photograph of the Author by

AN AFGHANISTAN veteran who was left with a broken back and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder says he is afraid of falling in his street after the council has started switching some street lights off at night.

Anthony Lock, 30, of Gainsborough Drive, Newport, has to do his shopping late at night due to his condition but says his side of the street is left pitch black from around 9pm onwards following the council’s decision to switch off half of the city’s street lights.

Mr Lock, who has a special cage fitted around his spine and walks using crutches because of his injuries, is now afraid that he is going to fall and hurt himself even further after the lights started to be switched off a couple of weeks ago.

The Argus previously reported how the council decided every other street light in the city, a total of 9,000 street lights, will be switched off from 10pm during the night in order to save around £200,000 a year. The city centre is exempt from the scheme.

Mr Lock, who served for 12 years with the 2nd Battalion Royal Welsh suffered injuries including a broken back and neck and suffered two brain haemorrhages after he was thrown from a tank when it hit a large improvised explosive device on June 9, 2009.

He has also suffered from post-traumatic stress since the ordeal.

Although he is on medication and undergoing counselling, his brain injury means he can easily forget techniques he is taught, which is delaying his recovery.

He suffers from flashbacks and also gets claustrophobic when with other people.

He said: “I usually go shopping at about 8.30pm when it’s quieter as I’m always on guard and can start getting aggressive and suffer from panic attacks when with other people.

“I haven’t got a social life,” he added. “I don’t see my friends any more and don’t see my family very often.”

Mr Lock, who lives with partner Rhiannon Williams and seven-yearold daughter Katie, says that he has tried to contact the council over the lighting issue but has had no response.

He said: “With the leaves on the pavement too, it is like an ice rink.

I’m really scared of falling and injuring myself further.”

 Saving cash and cutting carbon footprint

A NEWPORT council spokeswoman said the council introduced the scheme of reduced lighting times of alternate street lights throughout Newport from 10pm to 5.30am due to financial pressures, and in order to reduce the council’s carbon footprint.

She said: “There should not be any streets where all the lights are off and this could only be due to a supply fault. The partnight lighting scheme is for alternate lights only and if Mr Lock has submitted an inquiry this will be responded to as quickly as possible.”

Comments (11)

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12:47pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Radio Wales says...

I appreciate the quest for economy by the council but the decision to cull the street lighting at ten mystifies me.

Firstly, the vast majority of people that are out in the street at night are returning home from shift work, the pub, a night out in town or other functions that usually end in the ten to twelve o'clock time span.
So the effect is that the lights are on all evening until the point is reached when people actually need them!

There must be prizes for lack of applied thought in our council because the endless stream of ill-thought out ideas is quite impressive.

Beyond that, the excuse of reducing the carbon footprint is a bit thin when the lights go off before the buses stop running, and does imply that it is permanent feature rather that a short-term financial measure.
I appreciate the quest for economy by the council but the decision to cull the street lighting at ten mystifies me. Firstly, the vast majority of people that are out in the street at night are returning home from shift work, the pub, a night out in town or other functions that usually end in the ten to twelve o'clock time span. So the effect is that the lights are on all evening until the point is reached when people actually need them! There must be prizes for lack of applied thought in our council because the endless stream of ill-thought out ideas is quite impressive. Beyond that, the excuse of reducing the carbon footprint is a bit thin when the lights go off before the buses stop running, and does imply that it is permanent feature rather that a short-term financial measure. Radio Wales
  • Score: 0

1:09pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Sometimes says...

Swansea are turning all their street lights back on using low power LED bulbs, why can't all councils do the same, it would have been cheaper than fitting timers on all the lights. My council, (Torfaen) turned off some of our streetlights, but kept the cemtetry lights on even though it's locked at night!
Swansea are turning all their street lights back on using low power LED bulbs, why can't all councils do the same, it would have been cheaper than fitting timers on all the lights. My council, (Torfaen) turned off some of our streetlights, but kept the cemtetry lights on even though it's locked at night! Sometimes
  • Score: 0

1:29pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Dee-Gee says...

With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch?
With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch? Dee-Gee
  • Score: 0

9:39pm Fri 16 Nov 12

Limestonecowboy says...

You can't expect lighting everywhere you go as Dee-Gee says just using a torch may be a solution.
You can't expect lighting everywhere you go as Dee-Gee says just using a torch may be a solution. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

10:11pm Fri 16 Nov 12

rhi1030 says...

i can understand what you both are saying and i agree that lighting costs the council hundreds of thousands of pounds a year but how can they justify turning the lights off where there are extremely steep steps especially where disabled people live? also why don't you two try walking with crutches whilst holding a torch i'm sure you'l find its alot easier said than done!
i can understand what you both are saying and i agree that lighting costs the council hundreds of thousands of pounds a year but how can they justify turning the lights off where there are extremely steep steps especially where disabled people live? also why don't you two try walking with crutches whilst holding a torch i'm sure you'l find its alot easier said than done! rhi1030
  • Score: 0

2:21am Sun 18 Nov 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

"Dee-Gee says...
1:29pm Fri 16 Nov 12

With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch?”"

Sorry Dee-Gee this may have been well-meaning on your part, but it does sound a bit like the now infamously patronising words of Edwina Currie when she recommended that OAP's who couldn't afford to keep themselves warm in the chill of winter should invest in woolly hats and gloves(!) Indeed, why don't we go all the way and everyone in Wales get themselves some miners helmets with lamps on them - or at least those of us who can't afford our ever
-rising extortionate electricity bills!!!

Also, I note that its a spokesWOMAN whom Newport City Council has reeled out to defend their policy on switching off street lights between 10.00pm to 5.30pm. I wonder what hours she works and if, as a woman, she would feel less or more safe walking to work or home in an unlit area as opposed to a well-lit area. Plus, recent Argus stories have highlighted that Newport is not immune to the crime of rape and sexual assault: How many councillors, therefore, would feel happy about their daughters (or sons) walking around in the dark - or are they all lucky enough to be in the economic position to afford cars and taxis as regular transport for their children?

As women and disabled people are disproportionately likely to be victims of physical assualt (including rape)switching street lamps off at 10pm effects imposes a curfew upon those two groups and I'd be surprised that if, challenged in a court of law, the decision wouldn't come out, very decidedly, on the side of the plaintiff. Even if you don't particularly care much for the relevance of those two groups in relation to the greater scheme of your political ambitions, just think of all the resultant bad media PR this would generate too, Newport CC...
"Dee-Gee says... 1:29pm Fri 16 Nov 12 With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch?”" Sorry Dee-Gee this may have been well-meaning on your part, but it does sound a bit like the now infamously patronising words of Edwina Currie when she recommended that OAP's who couldn't afford to keep themselves warm in the chill of winter should invest in woolly hats and gloves(!) Indeed, why don't we go all the way and everyone in Wales get themselves some miners helmets with lamps on them - or at least those of us who can't afford our ever -rising extortionate electricity bills!!! Also, I note that its a spokesWOMAN whom Newport City Council has reeled out to defend their policy on switching off street lights between 10.00pm to 5.30pm. I wonder what hours she works and if, as a woman, she would feel less or more safe walking to work or home in an unlit area as opposed to a well-lit area. Plus, recent Argus stories have highlighted that Newport is not immune to the crime of rape and sexual assault: How many councillors, therefore, would feel happy about their daughters (or sons) walking around in the dark - or are they all lucky enough to be in the economic position to afford cars and taxis as regular transport for their children? As women and disabled people are disproportionately likely to be victims of physical assualt (including rape)switching street lamps off at 10pm effects imposes a curfew upon those two groups and I'd be surprised that if, challenged in a court of law, the decision wouldn't come out, very decidedly, on the side of the plaintiff. Even if you don't particularly care much for the relevance of those two groups in relation to the greater scheme of your political ambitions, just think of all the resultant bad media PR this would generate too, Newport CC... Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

2:25am Sun 18 Nov 12

Katie Re-Registered says...

Ps. wouldn't the spectacle of an entire population having to carry hand-held torches merely take us back to Dark Ages - quite literally?!
Ps. wouldn't the spectacle of an entire population having to carry hand-held torches merely take us back to Dark Ages - quite literally?! Katie Re-Registered
  • Score: 0

4:25pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Limestonecowboy says...

Some scaremongering here.
In an area where streelights have been tuned off number of burgularies have actually reduced & Police reported no adverse increase in crime (Bristol Post 25 Nov.2011) worth a read.
Some scaremongering here. In an area where streelights have been tuned off number of burgularies have actually reduced & Police reported no adverse increase in crime (Bristol Post 25 Nov.2011) worth a read. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Sun 18 Nov 12

rhi1030 says...

Limestonecowboy.... CAN I POINT OUT TO YOU THAT THIS STORY IS NOT ABOUT FACTS OR SCAREMONGERING BUT ABOUT THE WAY DISABLED PEOPLE ARE BEING LEFT IN THE DARK. CAN I POINT OUT THAT THERE IS 3 OUT OF 8 HOUSEHOLDS ON THE SAME ROW AS ANTHONY LOCK THAT HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS DISABLED LIVING THERE, ALSO THERE IS AN ELDERLY MAN IN HIS EIGHTIES AND THEY ALL DEPEND UPON THE SAME STREETLIGHT THAT ANTHONY LOCK DEPENDS ON.
THIS AINT ABOUT POLITICS BUT HEALTH AND SAFETY. I THINK SOMEONE IS OUT OF LINE WITH THERE REMARKS GROW UP LIMESTONECOWBOY AND DEE GEE, I SERIOUSLY THINK YOU BOTH NEED TO LOOK AT YOURSELVES IN THE MIRROR. WHAT HAVE YOU BOTH DONE FOR YOUR COUNTRY? YOU SHOULD BE BEHIND YOUR COUNTRY'S SOLDIERS, DONT FORGET THAT THEY PUT THERE LIVES IN DANGER TO GIVE YOU A BETTER LIFE.
Limestonecowboy.... CAN I POINT OUT TO YOU THAT THIS STORY IS NOT ABOUT FACTS OR SCAREMONGERING BUT ABOUT THE WAY DISABLED PEOPLE ARE BEING LEFT IN THE DARK. CAN I POINT OUT THAT THERE IS 3 OUT OF 8 HOUSEHOLDS ON THE SAME ROW AS ANTHONY LOCK THAT HAVE SOMEONE WHO IS DISABLED LIVING THERE, ALSO THERE IS AN ELDERLY MAN IN HIS EIGHTIES AND THEY ALL DEPEND UPON THE SAME STREETLIGHT THAT ANTHONY LOCK DEPENDS ON. THIS AINT ABOUT POLITICS BUT HEALTH AND SAFETY. I THINK SOMEONE IS OUT OF LINE WITH THERE REMARKS GROW UP LIMESTONECOWBOY AND DEE GEE, I SERIOUSLY THINK YOU BOTH NEED TO LOOK AT YOURSELVES IN THE MIRROR. WHAT HAVE YOU BOTH DONE FOR YOUR COUNTRY? YOU SHOULD BE BEHIND YOUR COUNTRY'S SOLDIERS, DONT FORGET THAT THEY PUT THERE LIVES IN DANGER TO GIVE YOU A BETTER LIFE. rhi1030
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Sun 18 Nov 12

rhi1030 says...

Dee-Gee wrote:
With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch?
HAVE YOU TRIED USING CRUTCHES IN THE DARK, ON TOP OF ICE WET SLIPPERY LEAVES WHILST USING A TORCH? I DONT THINK SO.
[quote][p][bold]Dee-Gee[/bold] wrote: With respect to Mr Lock, why doesn't he use a torch?[/p][/quote]HAVE YOU TRIED USING CRUTCHES IN THE DARK, ON TOP OF ICE WET SLIPPERY LEAVES WHILST USING A TORCH? I DONT THINK SO. rhi1030
  • Score: 0

6:25pm Sun 18 Nov 12

Limestonecowboy says...

My post is response to the previous alarmist post concerning crime & physical assault with reference based on a report concerning crime level since streelights lights have switched off.
As you say this ain't about politics.
My post is response to the previous alarmist post concerning crime & physical assault with reference based on a report concerning crime level since streelights lights have switched off. As you say this ain't about politics. Limestonecowboy
  • Score: 0

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