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Letter: Ten Years Later, Lamp Post is Finally Being Fixed

Published on: 8 May, 2022
Updated on: 8 May, 2022

Even with the temporary lighting the car park feels far less intimidating.

From: Mandy Millyard

See also: Let There Be Light, Please

How many women does it take to fix a lamp light? Less than the number of years it takes, apparently.

After a whole decade, there have finally been some big leaps forward in getting the far right-hand car park lit in Langley Close, Guildford, including its step and ramp access.

This area has suffered from a broken lamp post for over 10 years – making it feel very unsafe during the hours of darkness. Many local residents felt frightened, and sometimes intimidated, when using the nearby thoroughfare at night. Some have been taking a much longer route home, to avoid it.

A battle commenced to get this situation rectified but neither Surrey County Council nor HomeGroup (the management company for Langley Close) took responsibility for its maintenance.

A small group of us felt powerless fighting this alone, and so enlisted the help of more and more people – local councillors and The Dragon, our online newspaper,  amongst others publicised our plight. I also contacted the Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, Lisa Townsend and the CEO of the HomeGroup, Mark Henderson.

After the tragic death of Sarah Everard, and the fact that she was murdered when she was “just walking home” it felt more and more important that this lamp should be fixed. Why should anyone feel frightened because they are walking home through a poorly lit car park? All for the sake of a broken street lamp.

As before, progress was slow. So earlier this year, I sent the history of this fight to Angela Richardson, the MP for Guildford.

Within a week, Diana Brown, Angela Richardson’s assistant, had written to me on Angela’s behalf explaining that she would do what she could to help. And would communicate with HomeGroup to try to push this to a successful end.

Within a short period of time, I had received communication from Lisa Bowman at the office of Mark Henderson, and from Dawn Lewis at the office of Lisa Townsend. Both were excellent at keeping this situation moving forward.

HomeGroup took full responsibility for this lamppost and carried out a maintenance check to see what had gone wrong. The electricity box/junction had been hit by a car, many years ago, rendering the lamp damaged. They promised to get this fixed, but in the meantime would attach lighting to the gable end of the house which faces the car park.

Temporary lighting has been installed on the gable end of the house which faces the car park

This has happened with almost immediate effect – only a week or so since my last email from Lisa at the HomeGroup.

It has made an enormous difference to that area at night time. Hopefully, it will not only help people to feel safer, but may also deter any antisocial behaviour.

There are photographs attached – one in daylight, to show the position of the units, some taken last night (Saturday, May 7) at 10.15pm.

I would like to thank Angela Richardson MP, Diana Brown, Lisa Townsend, Dawn Lewis, Mark Henderson and Lisa Bowman for their recent help to push it to this point and to all those that have been a big support along the way.

I thank them all for taking time out of their busy days to help with this cause – it’s very much appreciated by me, and by the residents of Langley Close and surrounding roads.

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test One Response to Letter: Ten Years Later, Lamp Post is Finally Being Fixed

  1. Donna Collinson Reply

    May 9, 2022 at 7:49 am

    What a great result, holding Home Group to account. There are now two really bright, temporary lights and everyone will feel safer walking through the Langley Close car park to and from the path, by St John’s Ambulance. As they will when the original lamp is fixed.

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