Council to consider turning off the lights

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STREET lights in Battle could be switched off or dimmed in a bid to save the council money.

Battle Town Council is to explore the possibility of reducing street lighting in the town in a bid to combat ever-increasing energy costs and help the environment.

Switching off some lights for part of the night, dimming, using low energy lightbulbs and even switching off permanently in some areas could be considered.

The council has estimated that the cost of adapting the town’s street lights, by changing photocells and rewiring, would cost between £12,000 and £15,000.

A fifty per cent reduction in lighting time would repay the costs over a three to four year period.

Cllr Margaret Kiloh first mooted the idea to Battle Town Council’s Services Committee earlier this month.

She said a number of other councils have already made similar changes.

At Tuesday night’s council meeting, Cllr Paula Fisher asked: “Could we know exactly what the police feel about this?”

Cllr Kiloh replied: “I’m very happy to include the police in the consultation, but as a social scientist, I want their opinion to be based on evidence.”

The Services Committee had previously stated that concerns about an increase in crime and traffic accidents had proved ‘unfounded’ in other towns which had taken similar measures.

Council chairman Richard Bye said: “There’s a lot of options, but personally I think it would be worthwhile exploring that avenue.”

The Services Committee will examine the options and report the findings back to a full meeting of Battle Town Council next month.