A Uttoxeter councillor has welcomed the news that the town’s street lights will be dimmed to help save £8 million in 16 years.
Staffordshire County Councillor Geoff Morrison said it was good news for Uttoxeter as at night the town was lit up like a ‘Christmas tree’. It comes following the announcement by Mike Maryon, the county council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, that a review of street lighting had revealed the huge saving could be achieved by the use of new technology to reduce lighting to an appropriate level at controlled times of operation.
After hearing this, Councillor Morrison (pictured) decided to take a closer look at current usage of street lighting inUttoxeter. He said: “I was surprised by the amount of over lighting in the town. The town centre was lit up like a Christmas tree.
“What was really surprising was the fact this was at 4.45am, a time when you would have thought there was very little need for such high levels of street lighting. This is localism in action and I hope that the people of Uttoxeter will bring forward their views to the local councillors so that significant improvements can be made.
“I hope people will take the opportunity to have a real say in how their town is managed.” The intention is to give communities the power to control their own street lighting using councillors and parish councils.
Staffordshire County Council will work with local communities to reduce costs by reducing the time and the lighting levels using the latest technology available. The council will monitor the position as changes are made to ensure that dimming proposals do not adversely affect crime levels or road safety.
Councillor Maryon added: “We are constantly looking for ways to save taxpayer’s money so that we can continue to protect vital frontline services while offering good value for money.” The changes will be introduced this month and the lights will be upgraded by special dimming technology being fitted under a renegotiated 25-year private finance initiative contract originally signed in 2003.
The initial installation of ‘excellent quality lighting’ meant the council was nowable to upgrade the electronics rather than having to invest in new equipment.