PLANS for new streetlights to make people feel safe walking through Southend’s streets at night won’t be ready for winter, it has been confirmed.

Southend Council announced it would spend £250,000 on 100 new lights in the borough.

However, Tory councillors objected due to the lack of detail about the roads involved.

The proposal has been sent back to the cabinet to be discussed in September meaning they won’t be in place for the start of winter.

Conservative group leader Tony Cox, said: “The report only says about buying 100 lamp columns but we asked questions about other things that can be done like improving the existing lighting.

“The report doesn’t mention that as a possibility, yet the administration says it would be possible.

“If you are going to use a quarter of a million pounds you need to know what you are talking about.

“When we were in administration, council officers never told us there was a problem with street lighting and so this feels like it’s come out of the blue with no detail about where the 100 lights would go or other options.

“We are not against extra street lighting but we want to see money being spent responsibly.

The narrow wording of this report is irresponsible.”

Labour Councillor Matt Dent said it was just a dispute over the wording of a report.

He added: “It was asked if we could look at other options as a cheaper way of doing it and it was agreed that is a possibility. They then said they want the wording of the report changed, which is not necessary.

“If this is referred back to cabinet it will delay it into a time the nights are already drawing in.

“We had hoped to get this done over the summer. It is something that is very popular with residents. I’ve heard it in every ward that I have campaigned in – people are concerned about the lack of lighting and it is contributing to them feeling unsafe in Southend. I don’t think it is unsafe but it is about perception and people deserve to feel safe.”

The decision on lighting has been delayed until the row can be solved which could defeat the purpose of the change.