Council uncertain about switching off street lights

Barmby Moor - main street
Barmby Moor - main street

THE COST of keeping street lights in Barmby Moor switched on is almost the same as if they were switched off, councillors have been told.

Barmby Moor Parish Council is looking at ways of reducing its energy use, and turning off street lamps from midnight until about 5am is one proposal it is considering.

However, the chances of this happening appear slimmer now after a lighting engineer from East Riding Council told village councillors it would not save them much at all.

At a sub-committee meeting last week, engineer Peter Jacobson said that the village’s energy tariff (tariff seven) is so cheap at present that it would cost virtually the same to keep the lamps switched on.

Coun Nick Spencer, the parish council’s chairman, said: “That surprised us.

“It’s a negligible saving on money because it is so cheap. That is if the tariff seven stays the way it is.”

During the meeting, Coun Spencer said some residents wanted street lights to be turned off.

“There are quite a few people who would prefer to keep the lights off,” he said.

“You could have a certain situation whereby certain street lights are turned off.”

Mr Jacobson responded by saying East Riding Council is not promoting this as a cost-cutting measure.

He said: “East Riding are not considering turning anything off. All we are doing is trimming things back. There are mixed feelings on it.”

The decision, however, is in the hands of the parish council who own the lights in the village.

The plan to switch off lights does not include those on Main Street which would be left on throughout the night.

Another way the parish council is considering cutting costs is by installing lower wattage bulbs.

It has already fitted 50 watt bulbs on Manor Garth, which were originally 70 watt, and has received no complaints from residents who live on the street.

Coun Spencer said: “The majority of the lights are well past their sell by date. There are 49 lights in the village.

“In Manor Garth the lights have been reduced from 70 watt to 50 watt and there have been no complaints at all.”

A year ago, the council was quoted £22,000 to replace all the lights in the village, over a ten year period, with 50 watt bulbs.

It is now looking at other options which include installing 24 watt bulbs or LED lights and is waiting for quotes from Mr Jacobson for the costs of using either of these.

Before any decision is made on whether to turn off the lights or not, Coun Spencer said the council would need to consult villagers who would be affected, and the emergency services.

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