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More talks on street light switch-off

PUBLISHED: 05:59 06 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:13 02 July 2010

A street light in Norwich.

A street light in Norwich.

Sarah Hall

The controversial proposal to switch off thousands of street lights for part of the night in Norwich will be discussed by the county councillors who represent the city next week.

The controversial proposal to switch off thousands of street lights for part of the night in Norwich will be discussed by the county councillors who represent the city next week.

Norfolk County Council wants to switch off up to 7,800 lights in Norwich between midnight and 5am as part of a wider scheme which could see 27,000 across Norfolk blacked out.

The council says the proposal would only apply to quiet streets and would not be carried out in high crime areas or streets with high amounts of through traffic.

A report to county councillors suggests the proposal could achieve annual savings of £167,000 and says evidence from other areas suggests that part-time lighting does not result in increased crime, but concedes the idea could impact on perceptions of safety, which has sparked concern among critics.

A final decision will be made by the council's cabinet later in January, but before then members of the county council's Norwich Area Committee will also give the issue an airing.

Green county councillor Richard Bearman, who chairs the committee and represents the Mancroft division of the county council, said: “This is an interesting proposal to reduce carbon emissions and save money, which Norfolk certainly needs to do.

“We want the views of our committee and local residents to be fed back to cabinet before a final decision is taken as part of the budget planning process.

“We also recognise that people will be seeking reassurance that this proposal will not result in increased crime, or risks to personal safety.”

The committee will meets at Pilling Park Community Centre at 6.30pm on Tuesday .

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