It’s the time of year when we receive our council tax demands, so I thought it was time that we asked the county council to fund torches and fluorescent jackets to enable us to walk along the areas where our street lights aren’t working.

As the county staff can’t monitor every road in the county, we are encouraged to report faults linked to problems such as abandoned vehicles, fly-tipping, unlit lampposts and, of course, potholes.

We have to use the online reporting system at and hope that action is taken.

I don’t know about you but I think that the number of potholes being fixed has improved.

However sunken drains and manhole covers remain a problem and the number of unlit streetlights is increasing dramatically.

Many people have contacted me about lights not working for months and one person even told me that when they reported a street light out down Barwell in Wantage they were told it had already been reported therefore the new report would be deleted as it was deemed as done.

Then the street lights near Harcourt Road traffic lights failed and the bus stops have been left in darkness.

So I raised the issue of street lights at the last Wantage and Grove traffic advisory meeting (where our councillors meet the police and county highways staff to discuss problems in our area).

The response was that the contractors responsible for repairs had withdrawn a year ago and it has taken time for new contractors to be appointed so there is a backlog.

Now in my commercial world, it is usual for notice to be given when withdrawing from a contract and, perhaps, penalties being in place; not apparently when you have a contract with the county.

Anyway there are new contractors in place so sometime this year we might have street lights again but in the meantime should we go to county hall and request our torches and fluorescent jackets?

Then there are the sunken manhole covers.

The very badly sunken noisy manhole cover on Grove Road between Harcourt Way traffic lights and Limborough Road roundabout was first reported on May 8, 2018, and was fixed last week.

The other really badly sunken manhole covers on Ormond Road near the entrance to St Marys has been raised on Fixmystreet and at Traffic Advisory meetings since 2015.

Depending who you talk to, these problems are down to the utility companies or the council – but neither are rushing to fix them.