Essex County Council today rejected a bid to allocate funding for low-energy streetlights. At a meeting of the full council, the Liberal Democrat Group moved a motion calling on the council to allocate funds for LED roll-out in next year’s budget.
Moving the motion, Cllr Stephen Robinson (Chelmsford North) pointed out that the Liberal Democrats in the coalition Government have created the Green Investment Bank (GIB) to help the UK economy become greener and stronger.
Cllr Robinson said, “The GIB has £3.8 billion to support the roll-out of projects like low-energy LED streetlights. I am disappointed that the Conservative majority on the council would not agree to a plan for a roll-out of LED lights.
“Moving to LED lights would save Essex taxpayers MORE money than switching off most streetlights during the night.
“I am especially puzzled that they are willing to spend £1 million on a pilot of LED lights but will not set aside any money to take the pilot forwards if it is successful.”
Seconding the motion, Cllr David Kendall (Brentwood South) pointed to figures from the Police in Brentwood, showing that crime has risen during the “lights off” period. Cllr Kendall also pointed out that the AA are now saying that lights should be left on in roads where the speed limit is 40mph or higher, because of the dangers to pedestrians.
Councillors were also concerned that the £1 million for the pilot is being taken away from the budgets of the Local Highways Panel.