VILLAGERS are up in arms after being told they could be left in the dark for the next two months due to broken streetlights.

Residents in Hillfoot, Houston, saw their lights go out on September 9 and, despite alerting Renfrewshire Council to the blackout, they have been told the problem might not be fixed until November.

Jim McGurk, who lives in the street, contacted Councillor Jim Sheridan, whose ward includes Houston, to ask him to pursue the matter.

However, council chiefs have said they need to bring in an external contractor to do the job.

Mr McGurk, 63, now fears for the safety of dog walkers and his elderly neighbours.

He told The Gazette: “I think this is totally unacceptable. I cannot understand why it is going to take the council so long to fix things.

“It means we will have been without lighting for two-and-a-half months.

“There are a lot of people here who like to walk their dogs at night and some of them are women who are now going to feel very unsafe as they have to walk in pitch black conditions.

“This is not a big area, so I cannot see how it would take the council very long to sort this out.”

Residents in Cormorant Avenue have also reported that their lights have been out since the beginning of the month.

Cllr Sheridan said he wrote to the lighting department at the council after being contacted by Mr McGurk and was disappointed with the response.

He added: “I reported this straight away and I would have liked to think the council would get it fixed quick. It’s already been far too long that these lights have not been working.

“There are a lot of elderly residents on that street and I hope the council will reconsider and look to get these lights fixed urgently.”

A Renfrewshire Council spokesman said the lights in Hillfoot and Cormorant Avenue were damaged by Virgin Media during the installation of underground wires.

He added: “The council will proceed with the repairs to the damaged infrastructure.

“The extent of the damage has been surveyed and has been scheduled to take place as early as possible within the already planned programme of works.

“We will work with our external contractor to ensure all repairs take place as quickly as possible to ensure the appropriate levels of lighting are available and we thank residents for their patience.”