RESIDENTS of a Carnoustie street have been plunged into darkness each night due to Angus Council lacking parts to fix outside lighting.
Elderly residents of Admiral Street were too frightened to venture into what one homeowner has described as “blackout” conditions, which have persisted since early last week.
Phyllis Dempster (73) has lived in the apartment complex on Admiral Street since 2002 and reported the faulty internal stair lighting which plunged the area into total darkness.
She said: “Last week I noticed the lights were late in coming on and they were off and on for a couple of nights.
“It’s so dark it’s like the wartime blackout, and I’m old enough to remember that.”
Mrs Dempster added: “I was not prepared to go out in the dark, and there are some really elderly folk in this complex who are housebound.”
One of Mrs Dempster’s neighbours is a lady in her 90s who is already housebound, but was completely cut off at night.
Mrs Dempster said: “She’s taken a turn before, what if an ambulance needs to come? What are they expected to do? Bring lanterns?”
Admiral Street is not well lit at the best of times according to residents, and is served by a solitary street lamp at the corner of the road, small trail lights and a lamp attached to the Coastguard building.
Homeowners have been forced to light the passageways with the lights above their doors, which often prove inadequate.
Mrs Dempster said: “We have to leave our own lights on. Why should we have to pay for the electricity for them when we pay our council tax to cover this?”
Earlier in the week, Mrs Dempster was visited by her son and his wife. She said: “My son had to use the light from his mobile ‘phone to see where he was going, and he still nearly walked straight into the bins outside.
“When I looked out my window, I couldn’t see him, just this little light bobbing about, it was that dark.”
It was not just the possibility of a trip or fall, or being cut off from help that worried residents.
Mrs Dempster said: “Anyone could be lurking out there in the darkness, we have no idea.
“People could be in the car park damaging cars and we wouldn’t see them, and the darkness leaves us vulnerable to burglaries or attacks.”
Mrs Dempster’s daughter-in-law, Debbie Fairweather, stated: “They basically can’t go anywhere because it’s so dark. They’re a sitting target.”
A spokesperson for Angus Council said: “The fault was reported to ACCESSLine on September 19, and an electrician visited the following day to assess the job.
“The fault is with a timer clock, which needs to be replaced. This part has been ordered and once it has arrived the electrician will fit it immediately.
“The council has been in touch with the supplier today, but unfortunately the part is not yet available. The council apologises to the residents for the inconvenience.”
Mrs Dempster responded: “It’s a piece of nonsense waiting all this time for a part. Especially in this day and age of next day delivery.
“They should keep spares. This is always happening.”
On Wednesday council workers came to replace the light, and at the time of going to press they were fully functional.
Mrs Dempster had this to say: “It’s very funny that you say you’re going to blab all of this to the papers and then all of a sudden this part appears. It’s ludicrous.”