Staff and customers too ‘scared’ to stay out late
FURIOUS businessmen have called for the return of democracy after losing staff and customers as people rush home to make the ‘midnight curfew’.
Hoteliers Stuart and Darren Insall from The Kenilworth said as well as losing four members of staff to the night time blackout, customers are leaving early to make it home in the light.
Stuart, who has run the Warwick Road business with his brother for the past eight years, said: “There has been absolutely no public consultation over this and nothing we can do about the devastating effects it is having.”
“We have seen a dramatic dip in late night sales. People are leaving early because of the curfew - that is what they are calling it.
“We have lost four female members of staff who refuse to work the late shifts. There is a very real climate of fear in Kenilworth now.”
“It seems we no longer live in a democracy and councillors are making decisions to suit themselves.”
Up to 80 percent of all street lights in the district now go off between midnight and 5.30am Sunday to Thursday, and 1-6.30am at weekends to save up to £500,000 each year.
Councillor Richard Davies (Con, St John’s) fought against the switch off on behalf of the town’s late night economy in a move which led to the “compromise” of staggered weekend switch-off times.
“It is worrying to think of young restaurant workers and bar staff walking home in the dark,” he said. “Many are very worried about business and safety in the dark now and it is a huge concern.”
But Warwickshire County Councillors have made it clear the switch-off is here to stay as there is no other way of making the huge savings.
Cllr Alan Cockburn (Con), portfolio holder for environmental services, told the KWN there was no public consultation on the decision, but that community forums and police were asked about the best way to implement the blackout.
“We were elected to make decisions and we decided to switch the lights off,”he said.
“There was no consultation because the decision had been made. We need to make savings of 70 million pounds over three years. If people don’t like it they can vote for someone who is prepared to turn them back on, but I think they should be asking where these savings will be made instead.”
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Weather for Kenilworth
Monday 20 May 2013
Temperature: 11 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 17 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 8 C to 16 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: North