Lights could go back on in parts of Tendring – if the price is right

A street light at dusk, against a dark blue sky

A street light at dusk, against a dark blue sky - Credit: Archant

Street lights could go back on through the night in three towns and two villages in Tendring – if the right price can be negotiated.

Following a consultation Tendring District Council is proceeding with plans to end part-night lighting in Clacton, Harwich and Brightlingsea, as well as Jaywick and Little Oakley, after the scheme was backed by councillors in those areas.

Essex County Council (ECC) has introduced part-night lighting across the county, where street lights are switched off between 1am and 5am Tuesday to Sunday, and midnight until 5am on Mondays. Exceptions are made in town centres and at busy road junctions, and the scheme aims to reduce emissions and energy costs.

However after concerns from some residents and councillors, and a successful deal between Harlow District Council and County Hall where the district authority pays to keep the lights on all of the time, Tendring District Council has been looking at a similar move.

It set aside £160,000 in this year’s budget to pay to keep the lights on – if wanted by residents.

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The estimated cost of switching all of the lights on across Tendring is £147,000.

But ECC has said any agreement would have to be over four years, meaning Tendring District Council would have to commit to spending £588,000 during that period.

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If agreed by councillors at tonight’s full meeting of Tendring District Council, the light switch-on request for Clacton will include Holland-on-Sea, while the Harwich request will incorporate Dovercourt, Ramsey and Parkeston.

Tendring District Council’s cabinet is recommending the list is sent to ECC to ask for the cost of going ahead on that basis, rather than for the whole area.

Councillor Nick Turner, who headed up a working party on the issue, said it was a very complex and complicated matter.

“There is also the issue of whether we should take on the costs of another council’s responsibility and I personally think we should not,” he said.

Tendring District Council leader Neil Stock said that following tonight’s decision at full council, the authority will respond to ECC to find out the costings before any further decision is made.

He added: “I also think this is the thin end of the wedge if we pay for street lighting which is ECC’s responsibility.

“What would happen if ECC decided to stop running libraries, and mending pot holes – would we expect to take those on?”

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