STREET lights will not be turned off during the night in Branston after a parish council voted against plans.
As part of the Government’s localism agenda, Branston Parish Council has been asked whether it would agree to a blank switch-off of street lights from midnight to 5.30am.
However, members agreed that not only could it increase the number of burglaries, it would also be a danger for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists alike.
Parish councillor John Yates said during the council’s monthly meeting on Tuesday: “I am out early and I see a lot of cyclists not using lights.
“I constantly have near misses with them. Take away the street lights and there is a greater risk of me killing someone.”
It has already been agreed by Staffordshire County Council that it would dim street lights across East Staffordshire to help save £8 million in 16 years.
Following a detailed review of the county council’s street lighting operation, exploring technology, and energy conservation, it is also giving parish councils the choice on whether to switch off some of their lights. It will permit parish councils to submit requests for the introduction of part night street lights when supported by the local community.
Following a vote, Branston agreed not to submit a request, with another councillor, Fred Smith, saying: “More and more people are having staggered work times and possibly walking to Burton in the dark. This would mean walking in pitch black.
“It is also sending out a message about burglaries.”
There are no restrictions as to how part night street lights can be implemented; it can be a whole street, every other street light or individual street lights.
The council launched its three-year street lighting review to maximise the efficiency of a service which cost the authority £9.23 million in 2010-11. Of this, £2.36 million went on electricity.
The dimming plans, which will save £3.67 million by reducing energy and £4.45 million by cutting maintenance, have won the backing of the authority’s People’s Panel.