Essex County Council will review its plans to switch off street lights, following a "call in" request from Lib Dem Highways spokesman Cllr Stephen Robinson. The review will be at the Place Services Scrutiny Committee on Thursday 26 September, at 10.00 a.m. at County Hall, Chelmsford.
Most street lights in Chelmsford and Braintree are now switched off between Midnight and 05.00 a.m. The Liberal Democrat Opposition is concerned about public safety and wants consideration given to other lighting technology.
Stephen Robinson said:
"We think that Essex County Council should consider new-style, low-energy LED lights, lights controlled by movement sensors and other technology, instead of the switch off.
"We know that the Council has to save money and should also reduce its carbon footprint, but LED lights would reassure the public and be a more effective kind of lighting."
The Cabinet Member for Highways, Cllr Rodney Bass, made the formal decision on 27 August and Lib Dem Cllr Stephen Robinson then used the Council's official "Call In" procedure. This required Cllr Bass to meet with Cllr Robinson and Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee Cllr Simon Walsh
Following their meeting on Tuesday 3rd September, Cllr Walsh agreed to Cllr Robinson's request for street lighting to be the main item at a Committee meeting on 26 September. Cllr Bass agreed to attend to answer questions from councillors.
Cllr Robinson added:
"Unfortunately, the Conservatives do not allow the public to speak at Essex County Council meetings. So, while anyone can attend the meeting, only Councillors can ask questions. I will request that a Task and Finish Group is formed, which then CAN take evidence from the public and technical experts."
Essex County Council plans to switch off lights across the rest of the Essex over the next few months.