Costed Lib Dem Plan Could See Street Lights Stay on Until 2am - Where Wanted

October 11, 2018 12:42 PM

The Liberal Democrat opposition on Herts County Council has come up with a costed proposal that, if agreed, could see residential street lights stay on until 2am if residents want that.

In the roll-out of converting street lights to LED, the county Conservatives have proposed to move the current midnight turn-off to 1am. The Liberal Democrats have always opposed the midnight turn off and pushed for 2am as the earliest.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Stephen Giles-Medhurst has written an Open Letter to Phil Bibby, the Conservative Cabinet Member for Highways. In it he proposes that, as the Liberal Democrats have now established that keeping all street lights on till 2am would cost just £19,000 a year, the later 2am switch off should be implemented.

The Liberal Democrats have established from county council officers that having the street lights turned on at 5am at a reduced lighting level till 6am, which applies after 9pm at night anyway, would save £30,000. This means that, even with all lights on, there would be a saving to the county council of another £11,000 a year.

Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst stated, "Everyone from all parties accepted that, in the trials carried out, the night time dimming after 9pm made no noticeable difference in lighting levels. Having the same lighting levels from 5am till 6am (when fewer people are around) until the lights are turned up to maximum at 6am not only makes sense but saves money.

"Many residents in urban areas, with a night time economy and with later arriving trains such as St Albans , Watford, Hemel and Stevenage want the lights on later but we do accept that others want them off earlier. As the new system of lighting allows for automatic and remote controls of each light, it should be left to the local county councillor to decide which stay on till 2am and which go off earlier. That would be true local democracy and I urge the Conservatives to not only agree our costed proposals that save money, but return power to locally elected councillors."

I await the Conservatives reply."