Tendring councillors ask for blackout and crime link evidence for report

Street light.

Street light. - Credit: Archant

Senior councillors in Tendring have asked for more information before they decide whether or not to back calls to switch street lights back on overnight.

The Labour group at Tendring District Council proposed a motion at the last full council meeting calling on the authority to fund the cost of keeping the lights on between midnight and 5am.

Lights, except those in town centres and at dangerous road junctions, are currently off during those times following a move by Essex County Council (ECC) to cut the cost of its bills and carbon emissions.

At the meeting councillors voted to defer the matter to the cabinet and senior councillors have now also deferred the matter while evidence is collected.

Officers have been tasked with checking what the cost would be to turn the lights back on and how much this would cost the tax payer, as well as requesting evidence from Essex Police to see if there has been a rise in crime since the lights were switched off at the start of the year.

They will also approach County Hall to see if it would agree to such a move.

Parish councils and the AA will also be asked for their views.

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Mick Page, TDC leader, said it is important to have all the information on the table.

He said: “We cannot make a decision on whether to support this motion or not until we have all the facts in front of us.

“We are told it would cost £127,000 but we do not even know if that is correct and it would represent a 2% increase in our council tax bill.

“I know Colchester borough councillors voted against a similar move and they have more crime there than we do.”

A Colchester Borough Council motion on the issue was amended to call for ECC to find the money to keep the lights on all night.

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