Could our street lights be turned back on?

THE controversial street light switch-off saga in Leamington and Warwick has taken a new twist this week.

Residents in nearby Kenilworth may be the first in Warwickshire to get them back on - but they will have to pay extra on their council tax to fund them.

Warwickshire Council Council turned off street lights from 12 to 5.30am between Sunday and Thursday and 1-6.30am on Fridays and Saturdays to save on money and its carbon footprint. But the decision has been met with huge opposition across the county.

The council said the most vocal opposition has come from Kenilworth, not Leamington and Warwick.

And now councillors will look into ways of finding funding to keep the lights on throughout the night.

Kenilworth councillor Anderw Mobbs (Con Parkhill) who proposed the funding scheme at the council’s January meeting, said the blackout had generated more debate than any other issue he has known and called to return Kenilworth to a “civilised town”.

The move could set a precedent for other towns to follow, although so far there have been no calls for the same measure in Leamingon or Warwick

If the idea is supported in Kenilworth, councillors would have to increase council tax to cover the costs each year putting the bill in the hands of residents.

An exact figure has not yet been calculated and would depend on the number of lights being changed, but a rough figure of anywhere up to £45,000 has been given.