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Street light switch off will go ahead

PUBLISHED: 09:11 02 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:54 30 June 2010

An 11th hour bid to stop controversial plans to switch off street lights in Norfolk failed yesterday.

Norfolk County Council is to press ahead with a consultation on where to switch off up to 27000 lights between midnight and 5am as a plan to save £167,000.

An 11th hour bid to stop controversial plans to switch off street lights in Norfolk failed yesterday.

Norfolk County Council is to press ahead with a consultation on where to switch off up to 27000 lights between midnight and 5am as a plan to save £167,000.

But critics are pressing for a rethink amid fears the scheme could increase crime and anti-social behaviour.

The Tory cabinet approved a change proposed by the scrutiny committee which would see final decisions for individual streets delegated to Mike Jackson director of planning and transportation and cabinet member Adrian Gunson.

But the cabinet tweaked the wording to state the decisions would be carried out after “due consultation with local people and their elected representatives”.

Labour councillor Bert Bremner asked why there were no plans to switch off the lights at the County Hall car park in Martineau Lane which he said were left “blazing a trail” through the night and were more powerful than those lights which were due to be turned off.

Calling on council leader Daniel Cox to scrap the plans, Mr Bremner asked if the authority would drop any switch-offs where residents opposed them.

“For the sake of safety and well being of our citizens, will he stop the madness of the Big Norfolk 'black-out' and give the county council time to investigate a longer lasting more effective solution, with far bigger savings in terms of money and carbon, but which leaves the citizens of Norfolk safer?”

Council deputy leader Derrick Murphy said he did not want to pre-empt the results of the consultation but the authority would listen to people's views.

He added that because County Hall is an area covered by CCTV cameras it would be exempt from the switch off rules.

“The point of the consultation is to listen to people,” Mr Murphy said. “We will cross that bridge when we come to it and see what people say first.”

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