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Streetlights in South Kesteven can go back on at night - for a price

A new protocol for communities to pay to turn their streetlights back on could cost them £300 per light.

The plan, first revealed in October last year, will allow people to reverse part-night lighting for the complete length of any named street.

Street lights. (2265914)
Street lights. (2265914)

It comes as the county council controversially switched off more than half of the region’s 68,000 street lights for part of the night in an effort to save the authority £1.7 million.

The system means that they are turned off between midnight (and as early as 10pm in some areas) until dawn.

But the move was criticised by local people and led the authority to review their streetlights policy.

Under the proposals, parish councils will have to apply to the county authority to reverse the change. It means they will have to pay £300 per light if the switch-on does not fall within a routine council maintenance programme.

However, if the proposal falls within that period, then it will cost the parish £150 per light.

As Grantham does not have a town council, it would fall to South Kesteven District Council to apply for lights to go back on - but back in October, cabinet member for growth and communications Helen Goral said "there are no plans" to do so.

Councillors on the county council's highways and transport Scrutiny have been recommended to support the policy at a meeting on January 21.

The move to change the policy was backed by the senior councillor for community safety, Councillor Barry Young, who said he “enthusiastically” supported the plan.

Meanwhile, chairman of the council’s scrutiny management board, Councillor Rob Parker, said the plan will provide an “opportunity” for local people.

County councillor Richard Davies, executive member for highways, said he believed the changes address any concerns about the policy.

He said: "Although we’ve seen no evidence that part-night lighting has had a negative impact on people’s safety or crime rates, we realise some people are still concerned about the changes.

“These proposals give parishes and other communities the option to pay to have their lights upgraded and left on overnight, which will hopefully help address any remaining worries.”

Previously, Grantham councillor Ray Wootten said Grantham should have a special expense area fund that could fund street lighting.

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