Three-quarters of people want street lights back on in Tendring according to a consultation

Last night Tim Young, leader of the Colchester Labour group, said: We expect Councillor Bass to res

Last night Tim Young, leader of the Colchester Labour group, said: We expect Councillor Bass to respect the wishes of Colchester Borough Council and the residents and turn the lights back on.

More than 300 people gave their views on part-night lighting policy in Tendring.

Tendring District Council (TDC) held a consultation into whether it should pay County Hall to keep street lights on all night.

Essex County Council (ECC) currently operates a part-night lighting policy, where street lights are switched off between midnight and 5am except in town centres and at dangerous road junctions.

The Labour group at TDC called on the authority in November to pay ECC the £160,000 it saves under the scheme in Tendring to keep the lights on all night.

It was referred to cabinet to consider, which put the issue out to consultation and a report summarising the results is due to go before senior councillors on Friday.

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Of the 309 members of the public who responded one in five (22%) wanted the lights kept off, while three-quarters (74%) wanted the lights switched back on, with the rest backing alternative options such as LED lighting.

The AA backs turning the lights back on, while Essex Police said it had not seen any rise in crime associated with the switch-off.

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Parish and town councils were split on the issue, though some who backed turning the lights on in principle raised concerns their residents would effectively be paying three times for the service through parish council-owned lights, the ECC share of council tax and the suggested TDC contribution.

Mick Page, TDC leader, said cabinet would refer the issue back to full council on March 24 for debate.

“We have only had 300-odd people come back, compared to the 138,000 people in Tendring that’s a very small percentage,” he added.

“It is a county council responsibility and it should be the county council who pays, but if residents say they want them on then I would go and negotiate.

“There are options – for example the last train comes back after midnight, and I did not realise how many people go to work at 4am – but I have not yet got a mandate.

“The problem is a lot of it will be made political especially in the run up to an election.”

Ivan Henderson, Labour group leader at TDC, said: “If you look at past council consultations this had had a bigger response than many, and the weight is in favour of lights going back on.

“I am pleased it is going back to full council. I think the administrations at both TDC and ECC ignore the responses at their peril, because the next consultation will be on May 7 and if they do not listen this time they will be made to listen at the election.”

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