Pay more for all-night street lights

South Holland communities which want street lights on all night may well have to pay for the benefit.

A report into the county’s part-night lighting initiative is due to go before the overview and scrutiny management board today (Thurs).

There are a total of five recommendations for members to discuss following a review.

A range of topics were covered by the review, including crime levels, safety, emergency services and the impact on businesses.

The decision to switch-off streetlights between midnight and 6am in the county was made in a bid to save cash.

Angela Newton

“Lincolnshire remains one of the safest areas in the country, however this review has highlighted that while at this stage there is no clear link between part night lighting and an increase in crime, there has been a negative public perception in the sense of an increased fear of crime in some areas,” said Coun Angela Newton.

The scrutiny panel looking at the issue was established last October to look at the impact of the wider introduction of reduced street lighting.

Police have reported there was no ‘noticeable change’ in the number of overnight burglary, vehicle and personal robbery offences across the county.

The emergency services have reported ‘minimal’ changes but there has been a reported impact to shift workers.

“Overall the change to part-night street lighting has contributed to a 50 per cent reduction in energy consumption by street lighting across the county an over 6,200 tonnes of C02 saved year-on-year,” the report says.

Five recommendations will be going before the council’s executive, including the option of potentially paying for lights to be updated to LED and switched back on.

The panel suggests an ‘appropriate protocol,’ to enable communities to request the option.

Another recommendation is for an exemption for areas which have community access for defribillators.

There is also a recommendation that additional work is undertaken to plan communication activity to reassure residents.

“Communication with the public needs to take place during the annual changes between British Summertime and Greenwich Meantime,” says the report.

There is also a recommendation that the situation should also be subject to review and updates for consideration.

Data should also be captured as part of any analysis of road safety and collisions.

“I think this is the best outcome that we could have had,” Coun Newton said.

“It is not an obligatory service for the county council to provide. This year was the least amount it got from the government to pay for all the services” added Coun Newton.

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