Community projects and CCTV could get Colchester street light fund boost
Cash set aside for street lights in Colchester could be spent on lighting historic buildings or CCTV instead.
The borough council planned last year to spend £370,000 over two years to pay Essex County Council to turn back on street lights all night, but negotiations collapsed when County Hall would only accept a four-year deal – which borough councillors could not commit to.
County Hall switches off lights between 1-5am, except in town centres and at busy road junctions, in a bid to save money and reduce carbon emissions.
Now a series of proposals for spending the set-aside cash have been put forward.
One idea is to boost CCTV and night-time patrols of the town, as well as clearing up dog fouling, litter and graffiti – with the clean-up particularly focused on entry points to and visitor areas in the town.
Another is to fund a town centre manager to promote business in commercial areas of Colchester, and negotiate with rail operator Abellio Greater Anglia to rename Hythe station as Colchester Hythe to link it better for business.
Other ideas include more planting and maintenance for Colchester in Bloom, lighting of the town’s historic landmarks, and increasing the festivals’ budget, as well as tackling modern slavery.
Cabinet members will discuss the proposals at a meeting next Wednesday March 16.
Paul Smith, council leader, said: “Due to the circumstances by which this money is now available it cannot be described as a windfall.
“However, that should not hold us back from being able to grasp the opportunities detailed here.
“Some very worthwhile community projects could receive a boost from this, helping to make the borough a greener, cleaner and more attractive place to live, work and visit.”