Concerns resurface over lack of lighting

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Latest news from the Suffolk Free Press, suffolkfreepress.co.uk, @sfpsudbury on Twitter

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Residents have voiced fresh concerns over a decision to switch street lights off from midnight until the early hours of the morning.

Some locals living in Great Cornard, Sudbury and Boxford believe Suffolk County Council should repeal its 2010 decision for partial night lighting to ensure the public’s safety.

James Cartlidge, district councillor for Bures St Mary, said the issue had been raised several times at parish council level.

But he said the only way to encourage change to a communal service was with a group effort.

“Generally, with something like street lighting, the best bet is to get the parish council to write to the county authority to make any changes,” he said.

“Street lighting is a communal thing. If you want to change lighting, it has got to be done collectively.”

Peter Beer, district councillor for Great Cornard, said turning street lighting off had helped the county council make vital savings.

“I am led to believe that if there was an incident any-where, the lights could be switched on within two minutes,” he said.

“I think the public has a right if there is a particular area that’s very dark.

“It does seem, however, that it’s not causing the problems that people thought it would cause.”

On the Free Press Facebook page, Boxford resident Derek Ansell described the village’s new LED lights as “useless”.

He added: “We constantly seem to be paying more for less services.”

Others have questioned the possibility of having every other light turned off, using dimmed lights or an intelligent lighting system as a compromise.

But, as Jon Gee commented, any reversal of the decision would cost the taxpayer.

He said: “The decision taken five years ago has kept council tax rises down in those five years.

“It’s either a council tax rise or another service cut to pay for the electricity.”