Council u-turn over street lights

Langold residents and councillors are campaigning for street lights to remain on in the village.  Pictured center is resident Wendy Hunt handing over some of the signed petition to Coun Sheila Place  (w120509-9a)
Langold residents and councillors are campaigning for street lights to remain on in the village. Pictured center is resident Wendy Hunt handing over some of the signed petition to Coun Sheila Place (w120509-9a)
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STREET lights in Worksop are to remain lit throughout the night following a U-turn from Notts County Council.

The authority says it has fully listened to feedback from residents and will not be switching lights off as part of a county-wide project to save £1m a year.

But reduced street lighting will continue to operate in Langold after it was introduced at the end of last year.

Labour county councillor and Police Authority vice-chair Coun Glynn Gilfoyle said he was delighted by the U-turn in Worksop but that the authority had more listening to do.

“It’s a victory for common sense. I have spoken to many people in Worksop who wanted the lights leaving on - from shift workers and elderly people to those who feel vulnerable or who have been victims in the past,” he said.

“I understand there’s £1m of savings need to be made but street lighting is one of the main planks of crime prevention.”

“But there are still other areas such as Langold and Blyth where lights have been turned off, and I hope the portfolio holder urgently reassess the situation.”

The street lighting victory in Worksop comes as county councillor Sheila Place prepares to hand over a petition next week containing more than 400 signatures of objection from Langold residents.

Notts County Council said it has been analysing feedback since the public consultation ended in Worksop at the end of February.

Coun Richard Jackson, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said: “We have consulted widely on this and have been listening to people and taking advice from other bodies, including the police, who have a number of concerns surrounding crime and anti-social behaviour in the area.”

“This is a perfect example of the flexible approach we are taking to the programme and demonstrates that we are prepared to respond to any issues and make changes if they are justified.”

Notts County Council published detailed proposals for the town at the beginning of the year as part of its county-wide project to switch off some street lights to save over £1 million a year and cut carbon emissions and light pollution.

The project involves turning many street lights off between midnight and 5.30am in residential areas, dimming some on main roads between 10pm and 7am and switching some off entirely in remote areas.

Many lights will not be altered, including those near hospitals, accident black spots or areas with higher than average crime rates. The project should be complete across the county by 2014.

Added Coun Jackson: “The whole part-night lighting programme is still very much in its infancy and we have always said that we will listen to what residents have to say.”

“What we are doing in Worksop does not set a precedent for other areas. Each area will continue to be judged on its own merits and amendments made as a result of consultation and feedback.

A council spokesman said: “Langold falls into a different zone and is not part of the Worksop plan. We are aware Coun Sheila Pace is to present a petition at the next Full Council meeting on 17th May but can’t comment on that until it’s been presented.”