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Overnight street light switch-off 'dangerous'
The public and politicians are being ignored over a “ridiculous” plan to switch off 70 per cent of street lights, it is claimed.
A Loughton Town Council meeting last night heard the county-wide move, aimed at saving money and protecting the environment, was being rushed through.
Councillor Chris Pond warned that it is highly unlikely that Essex County Council will listen to local concerns.
He said: “The period for consultation has been very, very short indeed and they haven’t sent the town clerk a map of the lights that they are proposing to switch off.
“Halsted Town Council had been asked to suggest lights which they thought should remain on. They suggested 27, only one of those was accepted.
“Although I think we should make suggestions, the experience of Halstead says that we are not going to be listened to.”
Councillor Pond described the plan as the ‘flagship’ idea of Rodney Bass, cabinet member for highways and transportation.
It is estimated the switch-off will save approximately £1.6m a year across the county by taking advantage of a reduced tariff offered by the electricity supplier.
Councillor Leon Girling labelled the idea ‘ridiculous, adding he thought it was a joke when he first heard about it.
Stephen Murray, councillor for Loughton Roding Ward, said it was a dangerous scheme for Loughton.
“Due to our proximity to London and our night economy I believe that there is much more likely to be a displacement effect in terms of crime,” he added.
“Loughton is unique and very different to the areas which the scheme was piloted in.”
The clerk of Loughton Town Council is to follow his counterpart at Buckhurst Hill Parish Council and write to Essex County Council to request a later switch off.
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