Rewind story: Amy talks to streetlighting officer and becomes a star

Here is the first in a series of our rewind stories.

How Amy asked a question and got the answer she wanted

Amy Jones loves to view the skies at night and was able to enjoy watching a major meteor shower from her own garden. Amy is a really talented and keen astronomer and this was really important to her.

A few weeks before she realised she had a major problem – a bright lamp situated immediately outside her house. Amy is only 15 and is unable to travel far unaccompanied at night to avoid light pollution so she has to observe the heavens from her garden. She contacted council officers to ask them to deactivate the offending light allowing her to view the skies unhindered.

Looking forward to witnessing the Draconid meteor shower she emailed Monmouthshire’s Street Lighting Officer Roger Joy who was happy to comply with her request.

Roger explained:

“We made Amy aware that turning off the light for the whole weekend could present a potential safety hazard for pedestrians and drivers so we restricted this operation to between 7.30pm to 11.30pm on Friday and Saturday. This allowed most residents to arrive home from work or leisure with the light on. In addition I contacted neighbours and police to inform them of the situation. Lights in Goetre are controlled by the Harvard Monitoring system so it was a fairly simple process to adjust the timing”.

Amy said:

“I would like to say a big thank you to the council for turning the street light off – it helped me greatly. I consider astronomy as a career so this was a big help. Thankfully, the sky was clear on Friday, so I saw some meteors and on Saturday, I managed to see a fireball before the sky completely clouded over.”

Roger could have stuck at ‘no, turning street lights off is potentially dangerous’. Instead, he went for ‘We can do it and it matters to this young person”. This is an example how the messages of intrapreneurship and ‘your county, your way’, are being instilled in officers who see themselves not as ‘working for Monmouthshire Council’ and more as ‘working for the people of Monmouthshire’.

Some tweets:

For more Rewind Stories see the main page.


Posted by Helen in the communications team


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