ON MONDAY, April 1, vast areas of Hampshire will be plunged into darkness by Hampshire County Council to further increase the street crimewave.

The street lights in residential areas will be turned off from 1am to 4am, which I'm sure will come as a surprise to many.

A questionnaire last year from HCC was responded to by less than 5% of the people who will be affected. I live in an area that is directly parallel to Southampton streets (lights remaining on) and have to use their roads to get into my area.

It's a block of houses off Larkspur Chase and the 40- odd houses are going to stick right out when the street lights go off.

This area has seen an unprecedented level of crime in recent years and obviously no-body wants the street lights to go off.

In fact we would like the lights to be turned up from the low level they already operate on.

When HCC announced this was going to happen, they suggested that areas of crime wouldn't be affected or lights would be switched off later.

I spoke to Councillor Rob Humby, who is responsible for this, a number of weeks back and it turns out there is no plan of action to implement crime areas.

Everyone is fully aware that street crime has been getting worse and that there is also a lack of police to manage the situation.

HCC wants to save money, but it will waste millions elsewhere on schemes that should be put on the backburner.

The provision of lighting is a fundamental necessity and exactly why residents pay for them via council rates.

So, i spoke to Eastleigh council leader Keith House and stated that they clearly have to take control of the street lights away from HCC.

If Southampton and Portsmouth can run their own lighting, so can Eastleigh.

He says funding goes to HCC for it, well let's get that changed to Eastleigh and stop this unwanted blackout.

Marcus Standon