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Liberal Democrats call for Kent’s Street Lights to be turned back on

February 11, 2015 7:48 PM

Brian Clark

At the Kent County Council budget debate on Thursday Liberal Democrat County Councillors Brian Clark (Maidstone South) and Rob Bird (Maidstone Central) will be pressing for full night-time lighting of Kent's roads to be reinstated as soon as possible.

Last year the Conservative Administration adopted their 'Safe and Sensible Street Light' policy which plunged many of the county's roads and passage-ways into darkness for up to 5½ hours each night. Many residents have been very concerned and the scheme did not gain full support from Kent Police. People who need to be out and about in the early hours feel far from safe and there has been some anecdotal evidence of criminals taking advantage of the darkness.

In recent weeks KCC has announced a new programme to convert all street lights to LEDs which will not only reduce energy costs and cut carbon emissions but also allow full night lighting to be reinstated. The Liberal Democrats welcome this investment but are extremely disappointed that it will be some 3 to 4 years before full night lighting is restored to Kent.

Rob Bird

"Why should the safety and security of our residents and their property be left at risk for all this time?" asks Brian Clark. "The current policy is neither safe nor sensible; there is an overwhelming case for the lights to be switched back on now,"

"Restoring full night lighting across the county will cost roughly £2½ million over the next three years," added Rob Bird, "a small price for a move which will significantly reduce the risk of serious accidents and increased crime."