Sinn Féin National Chairperson Declan Kearney, has called on the Department of Regional Development to urgently address the increased number of street lights that are out in the Crumlin area.
Mr Kearney said that many residents have complained to him about the lack of street lighting in the village and says that the issue needs to be addressed.
He said that many street lights have been out for three months with no guarantee that they will be repaired any toime soon.
“The ongoing issue of street lighting in Crumlin not being fixed has led to an ever growing number of black spots in the town,” he said.
“These are in housing estates, on some arterial routes into the town and in the main street.
“Some of this lighting has been reported as not working as far back as September and there is no guarantee that they will be fixed by Christmas.
“The simple fact is Danny Kennedy needs to prioritise his budgets and realize that by not fixing street lights the cost elsewhere will mount whether it be through health and safety concerns, accidents, increase in burglaries or anti social behaviour or indeed the fear of our elderly population not going outside at night to the local shops and services.
“At this time of year when the town is usually bustling in the run up to Christmas this can have a very real impact on the town. These lights need repaired as a mater urgency before we are dealing with the wrong kind of story this side of Christmas.”
A spokesperspon for the Department of Regional Department said that due to a budget shortfall many street lights will not be repaired during the winter months.
He said: “It is with regret that we cannot provide the service the public would expect in normal circumstances with regard to fixing street light repairs. We continue to endeavour to deal with as many defects as possible as quickly as we can.
“However, a significant budget shortfall has resulted in essential cost saving measures which have made is necessary to suspend the use of external contractors for the repair of street lights that fail, unless they pose an electrical hazard to the public.
“It is not the case that no street lighting repairs will be carried out, the Department will continue to prioritise all reported faults.
“Priority will be given to electrical and structural safety defects, followed by large groups of lights out. Smaller groups or individual street lights that fail will be lower priority and, unfortunately, many tens of thousands of street lighting defects across Northern Ireland may not be repaired over the winter months.”