Streetlights under threat in Norwich suburb

A street light in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley.

A street light in Norwich. Photo: Denise Bradley. - Credit: ©Archant Photographic 2009

Scores of streetlights in Costessey could be turned off for good this autumn, prompting community concern.

Norfolk County Council member for Costessey Tim East. Picture: BILL SMITH

Norfolk County Council member for Costessey Tim East. Picture: BILL SMITH - Credit: Bill Smith - Archant

Up to 157 lights, out of the 226 managed by South Norfolk Council, could be decommissioned in Costessey, subject to a consultation which finishes on March 16.

The remaining lights which will continue to be run by the district council are in areas where vulnerable people live, including the elderly, or areas prone to crime, anti-social behaviour and road traffic collisions.

Costessey Town Council has the option of taking on the under-threat lights, which will continue to be paid for by residents' precept payments.

Town council chairman Patrick O'Connor, district and town councillor John Amis and county councillor Tim East are angry over the lack of consultation from the district council.

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Mr East said the move was 'draconian'.

He said: 'It is reprehensible that the district council is shifting responsibilities to the town council without consultation. This was almost a fait accompli.'

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There are concerns the district council's decision to transfer ownership of some of the lights is to reduce costs and the town council does not have the resources.

Following a decision by South Norfolk last summer, it was decided ongoing maintenance of some of the lights would be transferred to the town council.

Costessey residents have until March 16 to put forward suggestions of areas where lights are needed.

Depending on the outcome of the consultation and town council proposals, lights which are not needed would be turned off by autumn.

Some 62 streetlights deemed unsafe have been cut down by the district council, according to the town council.

They would be replaced if in 'vulnerable areas'.

A district council statement said: 'There has been no final decisions on the number of footway lights that should be kept as we are working with and consulting the town and parish councils, asking for their views on what the final figure of needed lights should be.

'We are offering town and parish councils the option to take on and manage their local footway lighting and decide on how many lights they would like to retain.'

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