New West Sussex County Council lighting contract

LIBERAL Democrats in West Sussex have vowed to keep a close eye on the county’s new street lighting contract.

At a meeting of West Sussex County Council, held earlier this month, leader of the Liberal Democrats Morwen Millson asked about the contract, which was recently outsourced.

The contract handed over all aspects of street lighting, including customer care, to contractor SSE.

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Bob Smytherman, from the party, said: “Several residents have complained the contractor failed to meet the standards required by the contract – to complete the repair within three working days and to communicate with complainants the reasons why any repair should not be completed within this time scale.

“Residents were concerned they did not know what to do when they had reported a faulty light and nothing happened.”

Mrs Millson said: “We will be keeping a close eye on this contract.

“The contractor is required to repair the faulty appliance within three days, unless a spare part is needed or the fault is down to the supply cable. If you have reported a fault and it has not been repaired within three days, please contact your county councillor or me.”

A spokeswoman from West Sussex County Council said: “This ground-breaking PFI contract brought £50million of investment to West Sussex which will enable us to replace 52,000 lighting columns, 2,600 lanterns and 11,500 signs and bollards over the next five years.

“By 2014, this will have reduced both the energy we use and our carbon emissions by 25 per cent.

“Our service provider attends in excess of 1,500 street light faults each month within three days of being reported and its repair success rate is higher now than at any time we have on record.”

Anyone who wishes to report a fault should call 0800 0482435 or go to