Communities left in the dark over who will manage street lighting provisions
PUBLISHED: 11:45 22 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:45 22 November 2018
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Five parishes have seen shadows cast over the future of their street lighting provisions - with discussions ongoing over who manages them.
Broadland District Council is currently responsible for footway lighting of five of its parishes - Drayton, Freethorpe, Great Witchingham, Hellesdon and Wroxham.
However, with Broadland looking to absolve itself of being a lighting authority, families remain in the dark over the future of the 718 lamps the council looks after.
Earlier this year, the council made its intentions known, when its cabinet agreed to notify County Hall that it wished to cease responsibility for the lights from April 1, 2019.
Meanwhile, at a meeting this week, the cabinet also agreed it would not take any responsibility for street lights in any new developments in the five parishes.
John Fisher, cabinet member for environmental excellence, said: “I am a firm believer that decisions on footway lighting should be made at the most local level possible.
“This way the individual parishes can make their own decisions energy-saving measures, when the lights should be switched on and off and so on.”
The district council is currently responsible for 718 lamps - 188 in Drayton, five in Freethorpe, 15 in Great Witchingham, 501 in Hellesdon and nine in Wroxham.
However, it is continuing to negotiate with Norfolk County Council over what will happen to these after April.
A spokesman said: “As soon as there is a resolution from these discussions, or it is clear that there won’t be one, we will be in touch with all the affected parishes.”
With more than two-thirds of the lights Broadland currently manages - and more than 1,000 new homes on the way at the golf course - Hellesdon is the parish most affected. However, its parish council has previously said it neither has the resources or expertise to manage the facility.
Mark Knight, Hellesdon Parish Council clerk said it was currently exploring its options and that the matter would be discussed in detail at a meeting on Wednesday.
He said: “We have been approached before about taking street lights on and the numbers simply did not add up. We are exploring our options and want to find the solution that is most fair on the people of Hellesdon.”