Page last updated at 17:04 GMT, Monday, 15 December 2008

Some Powys street lamps back on

Street light (library picture)
Thousands of lights were switched off in Powys

Street lights blacked-out by a council trying to save money are being turned back on at certain times following a review.

Powys council said 275 lamps had been switched back on in the south of the county so far, and would stay on between 1630 and 0030 GMT.

The local authority has been heavily criticised for switching more than half of its 14,000 lights off.

A critic of the decision said officials were "slowly seeing the light".

Powys council said it had started a part-night lighting scheme.

It means lamps will be on between 1630 and 0030 GMT, but they will go off for the rest of the night until 0530 when they will stay on until it becomes light.

'Dreadful mistake'

Areas benefitting from the scheme include Llandrindod Wells, Rhayader, Howey, Newbridge-on-Wye, Llanyre, St Harmon and Elan Village, while lamps in Builth Wells are expected to return on Tuesday.

A council spokesman said other communities would benefit from the scheme as the review progressed.

He added that the council's governing board had always planned to review the street light switch-off project once lamps in the county had been turned off.

But Jonathan Greatorex of the Light up Powys campaign said the council had realised they had made a "dreadful mistake".

"It really is not by any stretch of the imagination suitable, but it is a step in the right direction," he added.

"Officials have finally realised they have made a dreadful mistake. They are slowly seeing the light."

Earlier this month, 60-year-old care worker Mike Atherton, from Llangynog, near Llanfyllin, paid nearly 300 out of his own pocket to switch 16 lights back on.

Meanwhile, in October councillors in Llanfair Caereinion, near Welshpool, agreed to spend up to 3,000 to turn about 50 of them back on.

Thousands of lights have been blacked out across Powys as part of the controversial cost-cutting policy, which is saving the council 225,000.

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