Plans to switch off street lights

Barmby Moor - main street
Barmby Moor - main street

A VILLAGE could be left in complete darkness if plans to switch off street lights get the go ahead.

Barmby Moor Parish Council is looking at ways of reducing its energy use and turning off street lamps is one idea it is considering.

It is weighing up the possibility of switching off lights between midnight and about 4am, though the times could alter slightly. The cost-cutting measure would not include lamps on Main Street which will stay on throughout the night.

Jonathan Laverack, vice chairman of the parish council, said the idea was suggested by East Riding Council who also recommended the parish council change all the bulbs in their street lights to further reduce costs.

He also stressed the fact that villagers would be consulted before any decision was made.

Mr Laverack said: “We’re looking with East Riding [Council} at a comprehensive update of the street lighting in the village. One suggestion by East Riding is to use low wattage bulbs. Another suggestion is switching the lights off.

“It is at a very early stage if we did do anything we would have to consult residents. We have got a meeting later this month to talk about it.”

In addition, the parish council also plans to replace many of the village’s old street lights over the next few years.

Parish Clerk, Vivien Cox, said: “Lights are going to be upgraded over the next few years.

“We have replaced four lights on Manor Grath with low wattage voltage to see if it makes a difference [to the costs].”

East Riding Council has contradicted the comments made by Mr Laverack and claims switching off street lights is not something it promotes.

A spokesman for the local authority said: “We get a few parish councils coming to us asking about street lighting and we have offered them advice.

“Turning off street lights isn’t something we are promoting. It is highly likely Barmby Moor have raised it with us.

“There are no highway street lights owned by the council that are turned off over night.”

Decision to switch off street lights have been considered in other parts of the country which has led to a fear of increased crime in some darkened areas.

However, Sergeant Pete Rogers of Pocklington Police felt any decision should be up to the parish council, and could not speculate on how it could affect the village in terms of crime.

He said: “Any decision is for the parish council make, it would be a first but we would monitor it with interest. We have no data to compare it with so I’m not sure how it would work.

“There are some villages who do not have any street lighting at all.”

Barmby Moor Parish Council will discuss the street lighting situation at a meeting on 29 September.

Post reporter Daniel Willers went out on the streets of Barmby Moor to find out what villagers thought of plans to switch off street lights.

Gladys Woolass, of Back Lane, said: “I would be against it. We don’t go out at night but it would be safer to leave them on.”

Victoria Tomlinson, of Chapel Street, said: “It doesn’t really bother me apart from having a small baby I am not up at that time. What if they looked at the possibility of turning off half the street lights or changing the bulb wattage might be a better option.

Melanie Lagan, of Norris Avenue, said: “On this road they’ve only had street lights for a year or so. They were there for ages but weren’t functioning. I suppose between midnight and four in a morning it would be acceptable.”

Another Barmby resident, who did not want to be named, said: “It is threatening the security of the village.”