The streetlight that never goes out

A COUNCIL'S plans to slash carbon emissions and save cash by turning off street lights have met with a wry smile in one village - where it is claimed a lamp has been turned on permanently for months on end.

Laurence Cawley

A COUNCIL'S plans to slash carbon emissions and save cash by turning off street lights have met with a wry smile in one village - where it is claimed a lamp has been turned on permanently for months on end.

Earlier this week, the EADT revealed how Suffolk County Council's Roads and Transport Scrutiny Committee had agreed for consultation to take place into the idea of lights timed to go off at night.

Power from its 54,000 street lights currently costs the council about �450,000 each year - a quarter of its total energy budget.


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It is hoped a radical overhaul of the network would bring about a 40% drop in consumption.

But the suggestion has left residents in Walsham le Willows, near Bury St Edmunds, wondering whether the proposals will include one of their street lamps - a light which has remained permanently on during the day as well as the night for months despite complaints to the council.

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Those living in Wattisham Road cannot say exactly how long the light in their street has been on for, but they all agree it has been many months.

One of the residents - Helen Dougall - became so fed up with the light being on that she complained to the council.

Yet despite her concerns about it wasting electricity, the light has remained on.

Her husband Eddie said: “It is a simple waste of money and electricity. We are all supposed to be saving energy - but when you tell them about something like this, nothing seems to happen.”

A spokeswoman for the county council said the problem was reported on September 16, adding: “The following day the report was acted upon by the county council's maintenance contractor Carillion.

“The repair has has been referred to the network owner - in this instance EDF Energy Networks. In this instance the fault is with the photo-electric cell which has a fail-safe setting of leaving the light on all day rather than off all day.

“To give economies of scales such repairs are grouped by area and consequently this can lead to considerable delay.”

Repairs are set to start in the area on Monday.

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