MP calls for street lights to be switched back on

Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford
Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford

Corby and East Northants MP Andy Sawford has made a call for the county’s street lights to be switched back on.

During an adjournment debate in the House of Commons yesterday (January 17), the MP said Northamptonshire County Council switched off more than 30,000 lights across the county in 2011 to save money, but that the authority had taken the wrong approach.

He said: “The off switch was pressed on around half the lights. The general pattern was every other light. In some places more were off. There was very little consultation, precious little listening, even less consideration of the implications.

“They should have had a plan for switching over to newer more energy efficient lighting that did not involve turning off half the lights first. They should have had a plan that did not involve putting people’s safety at risk.”

The MP told the Commons that street lighting costs each household in the county £1.14 a year. He said; “That is a very small price to pay for adequate street lighting.”

He highlighted the case of a nine-year-old boy who was hit by a car in Oakley Road, Corby, after the street lights were switched off. The child recovered and the lights on that stretch of road were later turned back on.

The MP said elderly residents living in Primrose Hill, Raunds, felt unsafe since street lights had been turned off and he spoke about residents’ fear of crime and the problems facing shift-workers who have to walk home along unlit roads.

Mr Sawford said: “I want to see the lights turned back on now through this winter and see the council implement a replacement programme in a better way without another dark winter falling on my constituents.”