Police called on defiant mum in Sheffield street light stand off

Gail Hattersley stands her ground on the spot where Amey want to install a new lamp post 20 feet from where a current one is
Gail Hattersley stands her ground on the spot where Amey want to install a new lamp post 20 feet from where a current one is
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A defiant mum today criticised council contractors – after they called police when she refused to move from the spot outside her Sheffield home where a new street light was to be installed.

Gail Hattersley hoped to postpone work on Hunter Road, Hillsborough, after discovering just before construction was to start that the light would be moved a few yards directly outside her home.

She spoke to Sheffield Council contractor Amey, which is resurfacing the city’s streets and upgrading street lights in the Streets Ahead project, but was told the work would be going ahead.

Staff told her they had a legal right to dig up the road as it was a public highway.

But when Ms Hattersley stood on the spot where the light would be fixed, a supervisor called police in a bid to have her moved.

The 59-year-old said: “When I was standing outside I was told that if I didn’t shift in 10 minutes they would call the police and get them to move me.

“I was standing on a public footpath, leaning on my own wall, so I wasn’t sure how that worked.

“I think they thought the threat of the police would scare me into submission.”

Police arrived at the scene and spoke to Ms Hattersley, also liaising with Streets Ahead, in a bid to resolve the situation.

Council worker Ms Hattersley told the two officers she wanted more time to look into her rights.

The police and workers left the road and the stand-off came to an end when Ms Hattersley went back inside her home.

Now she is hoping there will be a ‘stay of execution’.

Ms Hattersley added: “I have to telephone an objection line and the police said it was a civil matter. They were trying to get a stay of execution sorted because I was saying I needed more time to look at my rights.

“The existing light is five or six yards away but they want to move it to right outside my house which I believe is unacceptable.

“They claim it won’t shine in my bedroom, but I think it will, and it will be right outside so I will have to look at it.

“I was told it needs to be moved because of the street design but I don’t see what difference a few yards will make to that.

“I’ve spoken to the man who lives in the house where the existing light is outside and he doesn’t mind it.

“If they took these kind of things into account then people would get less upset.”

South Yorkshire Police confirmed officers were called to Hunter Road to reports of a resident refusing to move for essential work.

Streets Ahead say they are planning to meet with Ms Hattersley to ‘alleviate’ concerns.

A spokesman said: “We apologise to Ms Hatterley for any upset that may have been caused.

“We fully understand Ms Hatterley’s concerns and we would like to assure her that the new LED lights offer a cleaner, whiter light which is directional and should not have much light spilling into her bedroom window.

“We are currently replacing all streetlights with new LED technology, and because they offer more light on the pavement than the old sodium orange lights did we do have to change the location of some of the lights.

“When this does happen, we do try to inform residents as much as we can.”