Street lights could be switched off for good around South Norfolk

South Norfolk Council's cabinet will be discussing a report that could see street lights in nine tow

South Norfolk Council's cabinet will be discussing a report that could see street lights in nine town and parish council areas switched off. Photo: Denise Bradley - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

Two parishes could go completely dark if recommendations from a council report into street light provision are adopted.

South Norfolk Council is responsible for the management of lights in nine town and parish councils in the region and the report, which will come before a cabinet meeting on Monday, has suggested decommissioning 63pc of them.

This would mean two parish councils, Chedgrave and Ellingham, could switch off their street lights, offically called footway lights, for good.

Other councils being considered for a reduction in street lights are Costessy, Diss, Ditchingham, Gillingham, Kirby Cane, Loddon and Wymondham.

A statement from SNC said: 'South Norfolk Council has been reviewing the future management of footway lights in the district and it has been decided that local parish and town councils should be asked whether they want to keep their lights and if so, how many.

'To help town and parish councils make their decision South Norfolk Council has asked the police to produce a report detailing where they believe lights are necessary and an investigation into the needs of vulnerable residents has been carried out.'

Of the 845 lights falling under the remit of this report, 533 (63.1pc) have been highlighted as being potentially decommissioned unless there is a continuing need based on safety, crime prevention or vulnerable people needing a lit path, which could save almost £64,000 a year in running costs.

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Should the town and parish councils follow the report's recommendations then SNC has offered to pay for the decommissioning of lights which have come to the end of their useful life.

Moreover, the 845 lights currently run by SNC have been identified as needing replacement by 2022 which would cost £1.4 million, however if they lights which were highlighted as not needed by the review were decomissioned, these works would cost £531,000.

The SNC said they are working with the councils to ensure local residents get a say on the future of their lights.

The report is coming before cabinet for a discussion tomorrow.