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Light changes made across Warwick district after public pressure

Campaigners against the street lights night-time switch off were protesting outside Shire Hall on Thursday morning. Organiser Jemma Galvin shows a petition with Jenny St John (Labour County Council candidate for Warwick North), Lynnette Kelly (Labour Parlimentary Candidate) and Cllr. John Holland (Labour County Council candidate for Warwick West).
MHLC-20-12-12 Street lights protest Dec53

Campaigners against the street lights night-time switch off were protesting outside Shire Hall on Thursday morning. Organiser Jemma Galvin shows a petition with Jenny St John (Labour County Council candidate for Warwick North), Lynnette Kelly (Labour Parlimentary Candidate) and Cllr. John Holland (Labour County Council candidate for Warwick West). MHLC-20-12-12 Street lights protest Dec53

WARWICK District’s streets will stay lit until 1am thanks to a persistent fight by residents and ongoing campaigns on Twitter and Facebook.

Officers at Warwickshire County Council agreed to move the midnight switch off forwards by one hour to allow for late night walkers and party-goers to get home safely along well lit streets.

As from Friday, the majority of the town’s lights are now be switched off from 1am to 6.30am to save the council £500,000 each year.

Cllr Peter Butlin, with responsibility for Highways and Transport, said: “We have listened to the public’s concerns and monitored social media reaction to the switch off.

“We are extremely aware that a proportion of the public is uneasy about the lights being switched off at midnight, perhaps more so at this time of year.

“We have always said that this is a work in progress and we will work with residents to refine to best suit patterns of movement and travel at night.”

The idea to change the time was put forward by Kenilworth town and district councillor Richard Davies, who pushed for the change on safety grounds. He said 1am was a much more “reasonable time” to expect people not to be out and about.

“I am delighted that the county council proved to be open to suggestions and have not delayed this change at the busy time of year for party-goers,” he said.

“It is a sensible decision and credit must go to the portfolio holder for his speedy response.”

He also thanked county councillors Alan Cockburn and Dave Shilton for supporting the change.

The new timing came into force on Friday and lights were left on all night on Christmas Eve. They will also remain on all night on New Year’s Eve when people are expected to be out late.

But many campaigners say there is still a long way to go and that they will not be happy until the lights are on through the night again.

The council was criticised for the money-saving measure after a young student was killed when he was hit by a taxi near Leamington.

Warwickshire police said there is no strong evidence that street lights being on or off has an effect on crime.

 

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