Street light plan a turn off for town
RESIDENTS are concerned proposals to turn off street lights at midnight will result in safety and security problems. Suffolk Coastal District Council chiefs are proposing the move in a number of areas - saving them £23,000 a year in bills.
RESIDENTS are concerned proposals to turn off street lights at midnight will result in safety and security problems.
Suffolk Coastal District Council chiefs are proposing the move in a number of areas - saving them £23,000 a year in bills.
In Saxmundham, the council has proposed to reduce the lighting at the Market Place car park and in Bearfield Drive.
But town councillors and local police are worried about the safety of people coming home late at night and also the security of cars and homes.
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Cllr Marian Andrews said: “We would not agree to any reduced lighting in Saxmundham - the Market Place car park needs as much lighting there as possible.”
Mrs Andrews said she currently had to carry around a large torch to walk home at night because she temporarily has to walk in dark areas while roadworks take place at Church Street.
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Joggers have also been spotted running with torches in their hands in dark parts of the town.
The town council's planning and resources committee has also recommended to the full council that the lighting should remain.
Local police said they were currently in talks about the district council's proposal.
Anne-Marie Breach, a police spokesperson, said: “We will be liaising with the town council on the issue as there are advantages and disadvantages to the situation.”
Cllr Rae Leighton, Suffolk Coastal cabinet member for community well-being, has written to 39 affected town and parish councils to ask their views on whether lights in their area need to be kept on throughout the night.
He said: “In addition to the financial benefits of converting the footway lighting to part night lighting there are benefits with regard to a reduced effect on the environment in the form of greenhouse gases and a reduction in light pollution.”
Cllr Leighton said they planned to install photoelectric cells from June so they would go off at midnight to save half the electricity cost.
It has been suggested by the district council that midnight is a “guide” and the lights could be turned off earlier or later.
The town and parish councils have until March 31 to respond.