Sometimes it is impossible to get simple things fixed – they disappear into a maelstrom of bureaucratic and corporate indifference. A lamp post on Rufford Street,opposite the concrete plant has been broken since last September(see here – Sunday 16th September). Rufford Street has had its share of crime problems in the past. And street lighting is important to promoting a feeling of safety. But the light is still broken, that part of the road is still dark and it just leaves us here just another ‘runner in the night‘ (Manfred Mann, 1976).
I have reported this light countless times. It keeps falling down the gap between Islington, EdF who provide lighting services to Islington and the bit of EdF that traces under ground cable faults. They have dug it up and filled in a hole at the base of the light a couple of times now. I have had endless phone calls, written to my councillor and the head of environmental services at the council (email him here). Stuart, one of my neighbours is joining in too.
Overall Contact Islington is pretty good- it makes it much easier to track and trace problems. But when it gets a bit out of the ordinary, things go wrong. Weirdly the serial number of the lamp post went missing around the time it broke, making it harder to report and harder to trace the problem and measure just how badly EdF has performed. Islington does pretty badly on street light repairs compared to other London Boroughs – it takes 26 days for a street light to be fixed by EdF versus 12 in Tower Hamlets and 17 in Southwark (see performance table here).
So far it has been 163 days since I reported the light broken. This will, I think have the same effect on the performance data as 127 lights fixed one day late. There will be some sort of Service Level Agreement between Islington and EdF which I shall try and get through an FOI request unless anyone out there has it already. EdF must be in breach of any sensible SLA in this PFI.