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Diss town council to seek extension on a proposal which could see street lights in the town turned off

PUBLISHED: 22:22 14 February 2018 | UPDATED: 22:24 14 February 2018

Diss Town Council to discuss the future of the town's streelights.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Diss Town Council to discuss the future of the town's streelights. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

Diss town council has decided to ask South Norfolk Council for more time to make a decision on a proposal which could see some of the town’s streetlights turned off by Autumn 2018.

South Norfolk Council currently provides and is responsible for 235 street lights in Diss.

Following a county-wide review on the management and future of these lights SNC is suggesting decommissioning 63pc of the region’s street lights to help save on costs.

Many of the lights are also coming to the end of their operational life.

In Diss this would be a reduction of 37pc, meaning the town would lose 87 of its streetlights.

Leaving the area with 148 lights which SNC has deemed to be ‘needed’, for crime prevention and risk, road safety and vulnerability following a consultation with police.

The town council has been given until Friday, March 16 to make a number of decisions on the future of street lighting the town.

These include deciding whether or not they agree with SNC’s decisions on which lights are ‘needed’, if any of the lights which will be decommissioned should be saved and if not, whether the council can afford the maintenance costs of taking these on.

But, at a full council meeting on Wednesday evening, councillors raised concerns about potential black spots in the town if the proposals were followed and the suggested lights switched off.

Councillor Chris Liggett said: “There does not seem to be a good, lit route through town, it’s very difficult to see a safe route.”

Mayor Trevor Wenman raised concerns that out of all the towns and parishes in South Norfolk considering reductions in street lighting Diss was one of the most complex.

Following a discussion, in which all councillors echoed concerns about the complexity of the decision, potential black spots between housing estates and a lack of time, councillors decided they required more time to consider their options.

The council proposed and passed a motion to seek an extension from SNC until the end of April, setting up a task and finish group, to discuss the matter further.

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