Diss town council reaches a decision on whether or not to take on the responsibilty of the town’s street lights from South Norfolk Council.

A street light in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley.

A street light in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

A town council has come to a decision on the future of the town's street lights.

Following long discussions Diss Town Council has chosen to, in principle take on the responsibility of the town's street lights which are currently owned and cared for by South Norfolk Council.

The district council currently provides and is responsible for 235 street lights in Diss, this does not include streetlights along the town's high ways such as Victoria Road, which are provided by Norfolk County Council.

Following a county-wide review on the management and future of these lights SNC suggested 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, the review would mean a reduction of 37pc, meaning the town would lose 87 of its street lights.

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.

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At an earlier town council meeting held in February, councillors chose to ask SNC for more time to reach a decisions on a number of complex issues regarding the town's street lights.

Including 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 and whether the council can afford the maintenance costs of taking these on.

But, at a meeting on Wednesday, March 21, faced with a looming deadline from SNC by which to reach decision the council proposed and passed a motion to in principle take on the responsibilty of all 235 street lights in the town, including those deemed not necessary.

Speaking to the council, Mayor Trevor Wenman, explained the complexity of the decision before the council and costs of taking on the lights but also stressed the need to reach a decision.

The council also agreed to set up a task and finish group to meet as a matter of urgency to determine which lights the council itself deems to be necessary.