School is still in the dark over street lighting

School governor Maurice Helsdon
School governor Maurice Helsdon

A school governor has spoken of his frustration at the county council’s failure to switch on a street light near the school.

With children this week returning after half-term, there are fears they will be put in danger during the winter months if they have to make their way home in the dark.

In February last year, county councillors voted to save £2m by turning off street lights, promising all 65,000 lights in the county would be replaced, removed or upgraded by 2016.

But Maurice Helsdown, a governor at Meadowside Primary School in Burton Latimer, said the darkness is a safety risk, and that he had been trying to get the light outside the school turned back on since last winter.

He said: “The school is used for activities at night for the children. It’s a busy main road. Cars go up and down like lunatics. Now the children have gone back after half-term and it is dark in the evenings.”

The county council said the private finance initiative contract with Balfour Beatty, which the council has outsourced the upgrading work to, would benefit the county in the long term.

A statement said: “There are no plans to switch back on the street lights outside Meadowside Primary School. However, the new scheme will see all of the county’s street lights replaced over the next five years.

“The new, modern lighting system will provide a more consistent, better quality of light and will be much cheaper.”

Further details about the scheme are at