Should town pay to keep street lights?

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TOWCESTER’S elected representatives have decided to investigate their own street light scheme as they become resigned to the big switch off.

At a meeting of Towcester Town Council on Monday, September 12, members voted in favour of exploring the possibility of funding some or all of the street lights switched off as part of the Northants County Council £2 million cost cutting measures.

Councillor Jacqueline Hart said the town will start feeling the affects of the switch off as the days get shorter. Ms Hart said the switched off lights were unsightly and added: “I think it is really dreadful. Can we push the council to put more lights back on or to remove them permanently?”

Cllr Martin Johns said he had been assured by police the switch-off had not resulted in an increase in crime and added: “I just wonder if, as a town council, we have not got the duty to residents to look at other options?”

Cllr Peter Allen recalled that in the past the town council had been responsible for street lighting and was forced to upgrade them before they could be taken over by NCC.

Ms Hart added: “We spent thousands upgrading them so NCC can switch them off!”

Last month NCC agreed a private finance initiative to replace the NCC lights with cheaper to run lights which are better for the environment. New technology will also allow lights to be turned off or dimmed.