Let’s hope the sun shines on Milnsbridge.

For volunteers from the Milnsbridge Enhancement Group [MEG] are celebrating the installation of a solar-powered light behind the Aldi store in the centre of the village.

And they hope the light close to the end of River Street, thought to be one of the first of its kinds in the area, will curb anti-social behaviour. It is sited above a stone-built seat built by the group who have seen previous benches and walls destroyed by yobs..

Dr Polly McGrail, who chairs the group, said: ‘After years of negotiation worthy of the UN, the solar light is finally in place. It will cast a glow on the River Colne at night, making our village more attractive and we hope that it will discourage anti-social activity by the riverside.’

The group faced problems when t came to deciding on a location for the structure. They had to contend with a local bat population, the lack of a suitable electricity supply and – as always – funding. But working with Kirklees Council, the local police, Aldi, the West Yorkshire Bat Group and Environmental Alliance, they gradually found solutions.

Sabiq Arshad, Assistant Manager of Aldi in Milnsbridge,Clr Hilary Richards and Polly McGrail, Chair of Milnsbridge Enhancement Group welcome the new solar light
Sabiq Arshad, Assistant Manager of Aldi in Milnsbridge,Clr Hilary Richards and Polly McGrail, Chair of Milnsbridge Enhancement Group welcome the new solar light
 

“Using solar power instead of electricity solved the ongoing costs issue,’ said Dr McGrail.

“Simple maintenance is all the light will need. And we have chosen a movement-activated system to reduce disturbance to the bats living under the nearby bridge.’

The group thanked the Community Police Officers who gave support to the project when local vandals destroyed the picnic benches and drystone walling that the group had constructed, and the Kirklees Council officers who found the funding for the installation and advised on the type of light.

Clr Hilary Richards negotiated with Aldi, who own the land and the retailer agreed without hesitation that MEG could use it.