Town’s street lights to be replaced with smart technology LED lamps
- Credit: Denise Bradley
Street lights in Diss are set to be replaced with energy efficient LED lamps using smart technology as part of a deal done with Suffolk County Council.
After several months of discussion and deliberation Diss Town Council last year decided to take over most the town's street lights which up to now have been owned and maintained by South Norfolk Council.
The district provides 221 street lights across the town, not including those along the town's highways such as Victoria Road which are provided by Norfolk County Council; or on Mere Street where the lights are privately owned.
Following a county-wide review on the future of street lights, South Norfolk had suggested decommissioning two thirds of its street lights to help save on costs. Many of the lights are also coming to the end of their operational life.
However the prospect of many street lights being switched off or removed prompted local councils to step in and subsequently the district authority announced that it would be handing over the responsibility for providing street lights in nine parishes.
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Diss Town Council has now turned to over the border for expertise by agreeing a contract with Suffolk County Council who will take over maintenance of the town's lights from April 1.
Town mayor Trevor Wenman said: 'We have agreed to contract with Suffolk County Council to manage our street lights and to replace them. The plan will be that they will take over responsibility for street lights but the good news is that we will also be replacing all of the lights that we are taking over with LED lamps before the end of the year. I am hopeful that residents will see a change relatively quickly.'
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Town councillor Adrian Kitchen said: 'Eventually all of these new light fittings will be smart lamps so that means that the people who are going to look after them know as soon as the light needs attention because it will tell them. It will also report on their performance so we should get better service.'
The contract includes a penalty clause if broken lights are not fixed within an agreed timescale and lights will continue on the present timings.
Talks are continuing with the district council over practicalities of transferring responsibility including how to deal with public complaints or enquiries.