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Keep up the pressure on ending part night lighting says Borehamwood resident Suzanne Alford
Campaigners say they will continue the struggle to have street lights turned back on overnight, despite a review that concluded part-night lighting was a success.
Hertfordshire County Council’s overview and scrutiny committee met on Tuesday to review a policy in which the county is plunged into darkness from 12am until 6am.
Suzanne Alford, who lives in Hunters Close, has been campaigning to have the street lights turned back on all night since part-night lighting was introduced in 2011.
She gave a report during the meeting, on behalf of Facebook group “Turn our street lights back on,” which has 1,380 members, describing how people were afraid to go out at night.
She added Britain was a 24/7 society, and the policy did not take into account people who worked night shifts or teenagers travelling back home in the pitch darkness.
Speaking after the meeting, Ms Alford described it as very “thorough” with lots of evidence from experts in the police, ambulance and fire brigade.
She said however the committee seemed reluctant to discuss any of the alternatives raised to part-night lighting, such as having timers on streetlights and LED bulbs.
She said: “It would appear that because part-time lighting has resulted in a good saving, that any subsequent changes must show even better savings.
“In essence as the current four-year savings plan is working well, there are very few options left that would help them make a financial business case towards any other option.”
She also said she thought the committee had neglected the “human factor”, putting the interests of balancing its books before that of the people of Borehamwood.
She added: “I’m sure everyone would be willing to pay a little bit more to avoid stumbling round in the dark, but the council said raising council tax was not an option.
“I wish the review could have concentrated more on the feelings of residents, not just statistics.”
She added she was now awaiting the result of a report which would be written by head of scrutiny Tom Hawkyard.
Ms Alford said: “I hope the report will recommend a more flexible and common sense approach to part-night lighting, and provide a ray of hope.
“I don’t think the street lights will be turned back on any time soon.
“However we'll keep campaigning and I urge members of the public to keep up the pressure, so something might be achieved.”
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