Residents to be left in the dark over council cuts

By Rob George 16/02 Updated: 16/02 14:54

STREETLIGHTS across Bromsgrove and Droitwich could be turned off as part of a bid by Worcestershire County Council to save around £520,000 of taxpayers' money.

Members of the authority's cabinet have agreed to begin a series of pilot projects to examine ways to save money and reduce the council's carbon emissions.

The county council is currently responsible for 52,000 street lights and 8,000 illuminated road signs which rack up an annual electricity bill of £2million.

The lights also account for 21 per cent of the authority's current CO2 emissions and officers will continue to discuss a number of alternatives together with parish and town councils.

Proposals to dim the glow or convert street lamps to more energy efficient lighting such as LED and white light are among those being considered.

However, street lights which were previously on all-night could now be lit between dusk and midnight but then switched off until 5.30am or a permanently switched off under the plans being discussed.

The county council's Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, Coun John Smith, said: "We are no different from anyone else – we’re also facing the cost of rising energy bills and we’re trying to reduce our emissions.

"We have already undertaken extensive work, piloting with local communities and testing new technologies.

"We understand one size does not fit all and we will be looking at how to best work with the communities," he added.

Findings and results of the trials will be brought back to cabinet next spring.

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