Page last updated at 11:37 GMT, Monday, 3 November 2008

Councillor foots street lamp bill

Street light (library picture)
More than 9,000 lights will be switched off

A councillor has offered to pay for street lights to be turned back on after they were switched off by a local authority to save money.

Michael Williams has pledged to give a 350 increase in his Powys County Council allowance to Machynlleth Town Council to turn 14 lamps back on.

More than half the street lights in Powys will eventually be turned off.

Last month, Llanfair Caereinon Town Council agreed to pay Powys to turn its blacked-out lamps back on.

The controversial scheme in Powys started in September and about 80 lights went out in Machynlleth at the end of October.

Mr Williams said he had received many complaints since then, so decided to pay for some of the lights to be turned back on.

Councillor Michael Williams (picture: Powys council)
I felt it was the right thing to do
Michael Williams

"I felt it was the right thing to do. The council should have gone for part-night lighting," added Mr Williams.

"We know the council is saving money, but it's not fair on people who feel unsafe.

"Therefore, I am prepared to give the town council the 350 for them to take up the matter."

Machynlleth mayor Bob Dunn said Mr Williams had made a "very generous offer", but it should not be his responsibility to light the streets of Machynlleth.

Two weeks ago, motions by Powys council's Lib Dem and Conservative groups calling for the return of lights in some areas were thrown out at a meeting of the full council.

The council is saving 225,000 by turning off thousands of lights.

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