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Campaign to light up Lisbon

COMMUNIST (PCP) councillors in Lisbon Câmara have launched a campaign to light up the city. They claim that various parts of the capital are “in the dark” and are calling on the city’s inhabitants to mount a crusade for more street lighting.

“We have already received a number of complaints about the lack of street lighting and general security measures – there is definitely a direct link between the two problems,” said Cllr. Ruben Carvalho. According to data supplied by Lisbon Câmara, the worst areas for crime tend to be the older zones, such as Ajuda where there are many drug-related robberies and muggings. Without the co-operation of local neighbourhood networks, Carvalho said it was difficult to get a clear picture of the situation. The PCP councillors have already set up a helpline, which Lisbon citizens can call when streetlights are either not working or insufficient. The communist lobby says attempts to solve the issue have been met with indifference by Lisbon Câmara’s Chief Executive.

However, António Proa, head of the council’s open spaces and parks department, said: “The Câmara thinks that the PCP councillors are just stirring up trouble, as they should already know that an SOS citizens’ service, called ‘Lx Alerta’, has been in operation for some time, to which Lisbon residents can complain.”

The same spokesman said that creating another parallel service within the same council “does not make sense”, while maintaining that the Câmara welcomes any kind of contribution to problems or improvements from residents. “In 2005, we undertook 8,500 repairs on public lighting and, of these, 3,117 were as a result of residents calling the ‘Lx Alerta’ line,” he added. The service has been up and running since February 2004 and is designed to inform the Câmara about issues such as holes in pedestrian walkways, failed lighting and blocked drains. In 2004 alone, the Câmara received 42,435 calls, despite the fact that many Lisbon residents still don’t know of its existence.

If you’ve got a gripe that something isn’t working in Lisbon, contact either of the following two entities: e-mail [email protected] or call 213 227 262; or alternatively, use the ‘Lx Alerta’ line on 808 203 232 or e-mail: [email protected]