Street lights black out is put off until New Year over crime fears

Echo: Street lights black out is put off until New Year over crime fears Street lights black out is put off until New Year over crime fears

PLANS to switch off street lights and plunge Castle Point into darkness have been postponed – in time for a new year blackout.

About 70 per cent of the borough’s street lights were due to be turned off between midnight and 5am yesterday as part of Essex County Council’s part night lighting scheme.

The decision was postponed after county councillor Chris Pond “called-in” the plans for review on behalf of county councillor Dave Blackwell following claims it will lead to an increase in crime.

Now, county councillor Rodney Bass, cabinet member for highways and transportation, has agreed to delay the switch-off until January 2 pending further evidence to prove why it should not go ahead.

Mr Blackwell, who met with Mr Bass yesterday, said: “I have been getting a lot of representations from residents and from paramedics who say if they get called out at 3am to an incident they will struggle to see which house they have to go to in the dark and often time is of the essence.

“To be honest, I didn’t expect the meeting to go so well. I went in thinking I would get my ears chewed off because I wanted a full review done of all the roads and pavements to see if it is safe to turn out the lights, but I came out and thought blimey, I managed to get something out of this.

“Mr Bass has agreed to stay the execution until the holiday period is over because I said lots of people will be out late at night. He said bring me the evidence and I will take a serious look at it. So nowwe’ve got to get as much proof as we can and speak to all the emergency services and paramedics to try to change his mind.”

This comes after plans to switch off street lights in Basildon were also postponed pending further negotiations between senior Basildon Council officials and Mr Bass.

Maps detailing the true scale of the switch-off in Castle Point were released last month, with only key junctions and town centres being exempt from the proposals.

Street lights are being switched off across Essex as part of a county-wide scheme to cut costs and carbon emissions – with the county council set to save £64,000 from the Castle Point switch-off alone.

Streetlights have already been switched off in other areas, including Maldon, Uttlesford, Chelmsford, Braintree and Colchester, with Rochford set to follow suit on January 6.

Comments (6)

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8:49am Wed 11 Dec 13

Fred the Phoenix says...

Shame
Shame Fred the Phoenix

10:24am Wed 11 Dec 13

DogsMessInLeigh says...

Drive along London Road Hadleigh-Leigh-Westc
liff....and see the many street lights that are on 24 hours, surely someone from SBC drives along this very same route the A13 and surely they have seen the amount of lights on in day light hours.? or do they wait for residents to phone them in.
Drive along London Road Hadleigh-Leigh-Westc liff....and see the many street lights that are on 24 hours, surely someone from SBC drives along this very same route the A13 and surely they have seen the amount of lights on in day light hours.? or do they wait for residents to phone them in. DogsMessInLeigh

10:33am Wed 11 Dec 13

Jack222 says...

Get over it. The crime is done on empty hours in daylight hours. Turn the lights off and save money.

Mind you, an argument to have the lights on on the morning of January 1 so people can see better when coming home from the New Year party is different...
Get over it. The crime is done on empty hours in daylight hours. Turn the lights off and save money. Mind you, an argument to have the lights on on the morning of January 1 so people can see better when coming home from the New Year party is different... Jack222

5:29pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Nowthatsworthknowing says...

SWitch 'em off not needed...
SWitch 'em off not needed... Nowthatsworthknowing

7:30pm Wed 11 Dec 13

Kim Gandy says...

Just turn the lights off at County Hall - and the kitchen equipment, stop the free lunches, make Rodney and co have meetings by candlelight. Turn the heating off and the air conditioning in summer. Get rid of the chairman's chauffeur driven limo.... come on, show some willing Rodders.

As for those who advocate a switch off, they obviously don't have to come home from work in the dark.

And they'll be the first to scream if they become a victim of crime due to burglars, muggers and rapists taking advantage of doing things under cover of darkness and where cctv cannot pick up their activities.

A lot of people now have cctv outside their homes, these will not show up.. often evidence is given in court from cctv footage but if no lights are on, the activities of miscreants cannot be seen.

Turning the lights off serves no real purpose other than to give free rein to nutters and criminals. IT IS ONLY BEING DONE TO APPEASE THE EU. And anyone who cannot see that is a numpty.

Where's the reduction in council tax.... oh and 6.7 million pounds in order to save £1 m a year..... get real...
Just turn the lights off at County Hall - and the kitchen equipment, stop the free lunches, make Rodney and co have meetings by candlelight. Turn the heating off and the air conditioning in summer. Get rid of the chairman's chauffeur driven limo.... come on, show some willing Rodders. As for those who advocate a switch off, they obviously don't have to come home from work in the dark. And they'll be the first to scream if they become a victim of crime due to burglars, muggers and rapists taking advantage of doing things under cover of darkness and where cctv cannot pick up their activities. A lot of people now have cctv outside their homes, these will not show up.. often evidence is given in court from cctv footage but if no lights are on, the activities of miscreants cannot be seen. Turning the lights off serves no real purpose other than to give free rein to nutters and criminals. IT IS ONLY BEING DONE TO APPEASE THE EU. And anyone who cannot see that is a numpty. Where's the reduction in council tax.... oh and 6.7 million pounds in order to save £1 m a year..... get real... Kim Gandy

9:31am Thu 12 Dec 13

Fred the Phoenix says...

I lived in a village with no street lights for years. Did it cause us problems? No! Were cars crashing because they couldn't see? No! Did it attract all the local burglars? No! Other areas which have already switched off like Braintree and Maldon are also reporting no problems. Trouble is round here we seem to have rather more than our fair share of Alf Garnets and moaning Minnies and Gobby Gandys determined to complain about everything even though I bet the vast majority never step outside their homes after midnight. This isn't just about Castle Point or Essex, it's about the whole country, nay the whole EU stopping the incredible waste of street lights blazing away all night when no one needs them. Oh and it'll be nice to see our friends the stars again, maybe even the Milky Way, bring it on I say.
I lived in a village with no street lights for years. Did it cause us problems? No! Were cars crashing because they couldn't see? No! Did it attract all the local burglars? No! Other areas which have already switched off like Braintree and Maldon are also reporting no problems. Trouble is round here we seem to have rather more than our fair share of Alf Garnets and moaning Minnies and Gobby Gandys determined to complain about everything even though I bet the vast majority never step outside their homes after midnight. This isn't just about Castle Point or Essex, it's about the whole country, nay the whole EU stopping the incredible waste of street lights blazing away all night when no one needs them. Oh and it'll be nice to see our friends the stars again, maybe even the Milky Way, bring it on I say. Fred the Phoenix

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