Streetlights go off in Brentwood - but protesters say they will fight on (From Brentwood Weekly News)
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Streetlights go off in Brentwood - but protesters say they will fight on
8:00am Wednesday 12th March 2014 in News
CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to fight on against the streetlights in Brentwood being switched off.
At 12midnight on Sunday Essex County Council carried out their part-night lighting plans around parts of the borough.
It follows controversial schemes already operating in other parts of the county in an attempt to save money.
Each night between midnight and 5am streetlights will be off unless emergency services request they be put back on.
Originally the project was due to begin in Brentwood on February 10, but reviews to the plans caused it to be delayed.
Lib Dem county councillor for Brentwood South David Kendall who opposes the scheme said the lights should stay on for safety reasons.
Mr Kendall said: “Brentwood has a thriving night-time economy and revellers are not coming out of bars until well past midnight.
“Once we go a few streets out of the town centre it is pitch black and with the amount of potholes and cracked pavements coupled with traffic going through town, it is dangerous.
“It will be interesting to see what crime figures are like in six months time and I’ll be keeping a close eye on whether they go up.
“The plan should be reviewed and if any major issues do flare up over the next few months I will be calling on the lights to be switched back on.”
County Hall bosses said plenty of consultation had been done before the switch off was carried out.
A spokeswoman said: “We received information from those consulted as to the lights that they believe meet the exemption criteria and therefore should not be moved onto the scheme.
“These responses are carefully considered prior to any lights being moved onto the scheme.
“The scheme’s pilot in Maldon and Uttlesford starting in 2007 demonstrated that changing to part night lighting has had no adverse effect on resident safety and crime is not expected to increase.”