'Have you got a light you want to save' - asks Soham Town Council as county carries out lamp post upgrades
PUBLISHED: 10:08 03 September 2015 | UPDATED: 10:08 03 September 2015
Pleas to keep three street lights shining in Soham have already been made by concerned residents as up to 30 are set to be extinguished in the coming weeks.
The lights will be lost as part of a county-wide initiative to upgrade lighting in Cambridgeshire, but Soham Town Council is keen to hear from residents who are worried about the impact their loss will have on in their area.
However, council chairman Geoffrey Fisher is warning it could already be too late to save some of the lights scheduled to be removed as part of the improvement work being under-way by Balfour Beatty on behalf of the county council.
Workmen have been carrying out the work to upgrade the town’s street lights to the latest LED technology for the past few weeks and Cllr Fisher said some lights are likely to already have been lost.
Cllr Fisher said: “We have known about the lights’ upgrade for some time, it was announced the county council was going to do it in 2011 and they have slowly been carrying out the programme in towns and villages ever since.
“We learned in July which lights were going to be lost in Soham, but unfortunately it came at an inconvenient time as we don’t have a council meeting in August, so we have not been able to discuss it.
“We have now put out a press release to make people aware of what’s happening and urging them to look on the county council’s website to see which lamp posts are being removed. We are also telling people about the plans to turn the lights off in some areas from midnight to 6am as part of a county initiative to cut costs.
“We want to hear from people who have any concerns about the loss of individual lights and also what they think of the late night, lights out proposal. There is still time to make a comment about the plan. If people are worried about the loss of a lamp post then they can make a case and we will consider adding it to the town council’s register.”
There are 710 lights maintained by the county council in Soham and the loss of 30 of those equates to about four per cent.
Soham Town Council is responsible for 58 other lights, mainly in the more outlying areas. These will not be affected by the county’s upgrade.
Each one costs around £50 a year to run which is paid for by the town council out of its share of the Council Tax.
Council clerk Diane Marshall said: “We have already been contacted by three resident concerned about the loss of individual lights and these will be discussed at our meeting on September 14. We issued our press release to make sure people are aware of what’s happening, so they can have a say on individual lamp posts, and also on the proposals to turn the lights off in certain areas from midnight to 6am.”
Soham Town Council will consider whether to keep the lights on in the town throughout the night. To retain night lighting will cost the town council around £8,213 per year, which would be added to the council’s precept.
Residents can find out more about the lighting upgrade by visiting: http://www.lightingcambridgeshire.com.