Essex: People in Tendring have their say on plans to introduce partial night-time blackouts next year


- Credit: Archant

People in Tendring facing the prospect of night-time blackouts have said they would like their street lights left on in certain places.

From January 1 next year Essex County Council’s (ECC) scheme to save money by turning off street lighting between midnight and 5am will come into effect in the district.

But a survey carried out by Tendring District Council, which asked people living in the area if they wanted some areas exempted from the switch-off, showed around two-thirds of them would.

Remote footpaths and alleyways linking residential streets got the highest number of votes for remaining illuminated with almost 70% of those who completed the survey choosing this option.

This was closely followed by places which were considered potential high risk crime areas with just short of 62% of people voting for this.

However a large number of the 194 people who completed the electronic survey felt premises which have a high security risk, like banks and jewellers, were areas they thought could be left in darkness. Only 16% of them voted for this option.

District council leader Peter Halliday was delighted 194 people had taken the trouble to respond and had made numerous comments which will help shape its response to the county council.

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He said: “On an issue such as this it is important to engage with our residents and take their views on board before making a response.”

“I thank those who took part and we will be able to go back with a more informed position from Tendring.

“If this initiative is going to take place – and we are pretty sure it will – we want to make sure that we keep the most important street lights on.

“It is all about identifying which lights meet the county’s exceptional criteria for staying on and making our case. It is vital that we try to get this right and I thank ECC for giving us the extra time to come back with a meaningful reply.”

The county council originally wanted a response to a consultation from the district in September but agreed to extend the deadline following a plea from the council to allow sufficient time for proper, meaningful consultation.

The aim of the exercise, according to County Hall, is to reduce energy consumption, light pollution and provide a more responsive service.

Some Tendring councillors have backed the idea to save money in difficult financial times while others are concerned about the situation.

Pilot projects in Maldon and Uttlesford saw some lights switched off between midnight and 5am since 2007 and ECC now want to roll out the scheme across the county. However different places will have different start dates with Braintree and Chelmsford already operating with partial night-time blackouts.