Streetlight fixing neighbours told off over health and safety breach

Swansea residents ‘told off’ by Council chiefs over health and safety risks

A group of residents in Swansea, who clubbed together to fix broken streetlights on their estate, have been ticked off by council chiefs for breaching health and safety.

The neighbours decided to act after being left in the dark for months, as seven of their street lamps on the estate had gone out but.

As a community, they decided to group together and each pay in £100 for scaffolding, new bulbs and a electrician, so that the estate could be lit again.

Swansea residents told off by Council chiefs over health and safety risks after fixing streetlamps themselves

Streetlight fixing neighbours ‘told off’ over health and safety breach © Copyright Michael Trolove and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

However, rather than receiving praise for their efforts, the group of residents ended up in the council’s bad books for breaching health and safety, claiming that the neighbourhood was “risking their lives” by carrying out repairs to the street lamps themselves.

“We couldn’t believe our eyes whey they warned there was a significant risk of death – all we did was change the bulbs because they didn’t,” said Mr Tony Paget, a resident and associate professor at Swansea University Medical School.

The 40 strong neighbours of Golwg y Waun, in Birchgrove, Swansea, acted after one of the houses nearby was burgled.

Mr Paget, along with some friends, delivered leaflets in the neighbourhood telling them about a plan for fixing the street lights, saying they could chip in if they wanted to.

The street is an “unadopted” road, which means that the council doesn’t accept responsibility for looking after the lighting, however Swansea Council said they would provide an electrician to change the bulbs but would charge more than £1,000 – the residents managed to do the job for a total of £100, which included the bulbs, scaffolding and a qualified electrician was on standby to help out for free.

Just two days after the streetlights were fixed, Mr Paget got an email from the council, who ticked him off for “endagering life”, even though, as one of the residents pointed out, the streets were in total darkness and extremely dangerous for cars and pedestrians and were left that way for months.

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