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Braintree district: Street lights to remain off
9:25am Monday 7th October 2013 in News
Street lights around Braintree will remain switched off despite concerns being voiced to council bosses.
A debate was held at County Hall on Thursday afternoon to discuss Essex County Council’s project to turn off lights around the city between midnight and 5am each day.
It is hoped the move will save money in energy bills, but many people have raised issues regarding the safety of the policy which was introduced on September 1.
This led to Lib Dem councillor Stephen Robinson “calling in” the decision for a debate with county councillor responsible for highways and transportation Rodney Bass answering questions.
Mr Robinson, highways spokesperson for the Lib Dems, said the decision was made too hastily.
The Chelmsford North councillor said: “Residents are concerned about the scheme and I have had more 800 signatures to a petition against the plan and nearly 5,000 have joined a Facebook group I set up.
“It has been a bit too much of a blanket approach to the situation and we want the existing policy to be a bit more flexible and consider safety on roads going out of the town centres.
“Looking to the future, we just think the council should be a bit more imaginative.
“For new developments we think they should consider installing LED lights as they are brighter so only half the amount of lampposts would need to be installed, cause less pollution. They last longer as well.”
It was agreed at the debate a working group would be formed to look at how the consultation was carried out as some submissions were lost or ignored.
It will also look at whether previous recommendations on the subject were implemented and if LED lights could be phased in.
Despite this, Mr Bass said the council would stick with the plans for the time being.
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