Villagers can get to see the light

Stoke-by-Nayland residents held an open meeting on Tuesday night to discuss the future of their street lighting, which is owned by the parish council.

Villagers turned out to give their views about which street lights should stay on and which could be switched off to save money.

The whole village is being consulted about options for keeping the lights on - or switching them off - as part of a review.

Tony Klimowicz, from Blundens Corner, said he heard the meeting was well attended, with residents given an open forum for discussion. “I understand there was consensus about keeping the lighting on in critical areas,” he said.

“We have a lot of schoolchildren returning by bus to the village and, in the winter, it will be dark at around 4.30pm when they return. Having little torches isn’t going to stop speeding motorists.”

He said traffic in the village had increased threefold in recent years as a result of sat navigation systems, with motorists using it as a “rat run” from the A12 to the A134.

Last year, a Suffolk County Council survey showed 15 of the village’s 28 lights were not compliant with current regulations, and that 24 lights had a type of bulb no longer produced.

Suffolk County Council has introduced an initiative where it can control 55,000 individual street lights.

Some of the options discussed last year included paying £28,000 to make the lights compliant, asking Suffolk County Council to adopt the village’s lighting system or to disconnect the power supply to all the lights.

It costs the parish more than £2,000 a year to maintain the lights and for electricity costs.

Residents’ views are being taken to the parish council meeting in September.