Page last updated at 15:33 GMT, Tuesday, 21 October 2008 16:33 UK

Council agrees lights switch-off

Street light
Torfaen council aims to switch off up to half of its street lights

Another Welsh council has agreed to switch off street lights to save money and energy.

Torfaen council plans to turn off up to half of its 13,344 lights following a two-month consultation period.

The county's bill for street lights is expected to rise to 600,000 this financial year and would be significantly more again in 2009-10.

Powys council has already started switching off lights and Pembrokeshire may follow suit.

"We, like other councils, are facing tough times and tough decisions will be made," said executive member for operational services Councillor John Cunningham.

"Any changes to street lighting will only be made after thorough consultation."

No area will be plunged into darkness
Councillor John Cunningham

Torfaen's street lighting bill was 400,000 in the previous financial year but was expected to reach around 900,000 by 2009-10.

The council said the cost of energy and food, rising waste management costs, a lower-than-inflation settlement from the assembly government and other "budgetary pressures" left it with no choice.

The switch-off is also expected to reduce the council's carbon emissions by around 8%.

"There will be certain areas which we will avoid like roundabouts and pedestrian crossings and other areas where we feel that street lighting will be needed," said Mr Cunningham.

"No area will be plunged into darkness."

The council will now consult with groups such as the police, fire service and community councils before the planned switch-off in the new year.

In Powys, the council decided to switch off two-thirds of its 14,000 lamps.

But town councillors in Llanfair Caereinion have since agreed to pay the local authority to turn about 50 of them back on.

Pembrokeshire is also considering switching off non-essential street lights after midnight.


SEE ALSO
Town pays to turn lights back on
21 Oct 08 |  Mid Wales
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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