Page last updated at 09:55 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 10:55 UK

Town pays to turn lights back on

Street light (library picture)
Let there be light: Llanfair wants its street lights turned back on

Councillors in a town affected by a street light switch-off have agreed to spend up to 3,000 to turn about 50 of them back on.

Llanfair Caereinion town council, near Welshpool, will pay Powys council 56 for each of the blacked-out lamps.

Following a special meeting on Monday night, mayor Les Evans said he expected the lights on by the end of the week.

They will remain lit until the end of March 2009 when a public meeting will be held about their future.

The town councillors acted as more than half of the county's 14,000 lights are being turned off to save money.

The street lamp scheme has been criticised by communities throughout the county, but officials say rocketing energy prices have left them with no choice.

Last month, Montgomeryshire MP Lembit Opik said the project risked plunging Powys into 18th Century blackness.

The meeting was in favour of putting the lights back on
Les Evans, Llanfair Caereinion mayor

In Llanfair Caereinion, mayor Les Evans said people were "up in arms" over the blackout.

He said: "The meeting was in favour of putting the lights back on. We are planning to spend between 2,000 and 3,000 on between 40 and 50 lights.

"I expect the lights to be back on by the end of the week or if not as soon as possible."

Mr Evans said the town council would pay for the lights until the end of the financial year in March when a public meeting would be held.

"We will let the community decide if they want to pay for the lights, which after March will mean extra on the precept," added Mr Evans.

Carbon footprint

Before Monday's meeting, Mr Evans said about 67% of all street lights had been switched off in Llanfair.

"We managed to get Powys council to switch a few around the old people's home back on, but at least 40 remain turned off," he said.

Powys council is turning off more than 9,000 lights in a bid to save 225,000 and reduce its carbon footprint.

Locations covered by CCTV, pedestrian crossings and trunk roads are not affected by the move.


SEE ALSO
Lamp switch-off risks 'blackout'
19 Sep 08 |  Mid Wales
County considers lights turn-off
12 Sep 08 |  South West Wales
Big street lamp switch-off starts
10 Sep 08 |  Mid Wales
Street lamps to be switched off
16 Jul 08 |  Mid Wales
County planning lights switch off
18 Apr 08 |  Mid Wales

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