WIRRAL Council has announced immediate plans to tackle a backlog of street light repairs after being slammed by an MP for leaving residents 'in the dark'.

Cllr Stuart Whittingham, cabinet mmber for Transport and Technology Infrastructure, said today that all broken lights will be fixed by the end of April.

It followed concerns from Birkenhead MP Frank Field, who received several reports from constituents about faulty street lighting.

Their concerns centred on the apparent lack of urgency shown by the authority's Streetscene department to address each fault once it has been reported.

Cllr Whittingham said: "Sadly, this year we've seen increased levels of vandalism and unreported collision damage, which has contributed to a higher than normal number of outstanding faults.

"We have not been able to respond to this increase as well as I would like, so we are taking special action to deal with the backlog."

Among complaints Mr Field received was one from a resident whose street lighting outside their house has not worked since December.

Cllr Whittingham said continued: "I'd like to apologise to residents for not responding sooner to their concerns.

"In our recent Residents’ Survey, a high proportion of respondents told us that they wanted the council to prioritise improvements to our roads and highways, the cleanliness of our streets and pavements and to help the police and others tackle anti-social behaviour.

"This special street light repair plan shows that we are listening to them and addressing their concerns.

"I would like to thank people for their patience; the safety of the public remains our priority."