Petition Launched To Switch Our Lights Back On At Night

Community safety doesn’t appear to be very high up on Rochford District Councils list, as we’ve already seen them kick the can down the road on CCTV possibly until 2021 – in an effort to restore some balance, it’s good to see Rochford District Resident Candidate, Richard Lambourne has prepared a petition to ‘Light Up Our District

Basildon Council have been successful in negotiating with Essex County Council to have their street lighting turned back on at night and have already actioned this.

Basildon Council have agreed to a scheme to switch the borough’s streetlights back on throughout the night.

At Basildon Council’s Policy and Resources Committee meeting last night, councillors agreed to enter into an agreement with Essex County Council to restore all night lighting and pay £146,000 to cover the cost from October 31.

Initially, the lights were first turned off between midnight and 5am, which was later altered to be turned off from 1am.

Moving forward, further funding is set to be agreed to sustain full-night lighting to March 2020.

The full year cost for the borough is currently £275,000 a year, but this cost should come down by as much as 40 per cent once the borough’s lights are upgraded to more cost-effective and efficient LED lights- work that is scheduled to done by Essex County Council in 2020/21.

Council leader Gavin Callaghan tweeted after the decision: “I’m pleased that tonight Basildon Council’s Policy & Resources committee unanimously agreed to turn the streetlights back on.

“We are working with County Colleagues to now finalise the agreement and press the switch!”

Councillor Kevin Blake, who represents the Burstead ward, said: “This is a common sense step to improve community safety

“As councillors, we talk to residents regularly whose number one concern is feeling safer in their own neighbourhoods and they want these lights back on.

“Plenty of residents work shifts and need to be out and about between 1am and 5am and they deserve the protection that street lighting can help provide.”

Of course there are the environmental effects of street lighting and I for one won’t be ignoring these. With the invention of LED lights and renewable energy sources, Essex County Council will need to provide reassurances on the efficiency of their lighting scheme.

Whilst some residents may be concerned about cost, I would always prioritise residents safety and reassurance over £3.4m new Council offices.

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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