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Safety fears if street lights are switched off
6:00pm Friday 1st November 2013 in News
RESIDENTS have told council bosses they don’t want to be left in the dark.
Up to 70 per cent of street lighting across Tendring could be switched off from the start of next year under new plans by Essex County Council.
Almost 70 per cent of the 200 people who completed an online survey carried out by Tendring Council said they want lights kept on in remote footpaths and alleyways linking residential streets.
Just under 62 per cent said lights should stay on in potential high risk crime areas and 31 per cent wanted lights on in areas near nightclubs and pubs
Tendring Council leader Peter Halliday said: “If this initiative is going to take place – and we are pretty sure it will - we want to make sure that we keep the most important street lights on.
“It is all about identifying which lights meet the county’s exceptional criteria for staying on and making our case.”
Essex County Council is looking to carry out a countywide switch-off initiative – with different areas starting on different dates.
The authority originally wanted a response to the consultation from Tendring in September but then agreed to extend the deadline.
“It is vital that we try to get this right and I thank the county council for giving us the extra time to come back with a meaningful reply,” added Mr Halliday.
The district council will also consult with the police and town and parish councils before it responds to the county council.
Essex County Council said the aim of the exercise is to reduce energy consumption but some Tendring councillors have backed the idea to save money in difficult financial times.
Tendring’s Neighbourhood Watch chairman Mike Vaughan-Chatfield said the move had “pulled the rug” from under his organisation’s feet and that many of its members believed it was a “burglar’s charter”.
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