Lincolnshire County council to charge £150 for each light turned back on
Residents across Lincolnshire face a £150 charge from the county council for each light they wish to see back on.
South Kesteven District Council has kept on its street lights, but Lincolnshire County Council turns off many of its lights overnight to save money. However, many residents believe this places them in danger, leading them to campaign for the county to switch its lights back on.
Earlier this year, the county council said it would switch lights back on if communities are willing to pay the cost of restoring such services.
The Elsea Park Community Trust, which runs the large Elsea Park housing development in Bourne, has asked its residents if they are willing to pay.
The trust has discovered that whether or not the lights are traditional lights being converted to LED lights; or existing newer LED lights, a £150 fee would still apply.
It said in its newsletter that such a fee would cost the trust £7,500 to switch on lights in Elsea Park’s Phase 1 and another £1,800 to keep the lights on near the Linear Park cycleway.
The trust is now asking residents whether they want to pay this amount, leading some to wonder how the council can justify the difference in the charge, especially if newer housing schemes already have LED lights, where conversion might involve less work.
However, John Monk, the county council’s head of design services, says if a street already has an existing LED lightbulb, the £150 charge covers the extra energy costs for the extra hours it’s left on.
Such lightbulbs also need a new ‘photocell’ to ensure the light goes on and off at the right time.
If the streetlight does not have an LED lightbulb, there is the extra cost of new equipment. But such lightbulbs are cheaper to run longer term.
Mr Monk further explained that an LED lamp costs around £125 and a new photocell £25. With the difference in energy costs being minimal, the council believes the £150 charge is fair.
“Obviously, energy prices will vary over the years so it’s impossible to say exactly how much this extra energy will cost over the coming decades. However, the charge asked will cover it for a number of years.”