COUNCILLORS plan to turn them off at night – yet for residents of one Huddersfield street the street lights have been permanently ON.
Kirklees councillors have agreed a plan to turn off thousands of street lights at night to save money.
It’s one of a number of budget cuts.
But in Newsome, street lights along New Laithe Hill have been on all day and all night for more than two weeks.
The new lamp-posts were installed last August and then earlier this month the council’s contractors returned to wire them up.
One resident said: “They did a good job and the council even removed the old lamps the same day.
“The lamps were lit and all was well – apart from the fact they are still on 24 hours-a-day 14 days later.”
He reported the fault to the council after seven days but nothing had been done to repair the problem.
The council’s deputy leader, Clr David Sheard, who is leading the big switch-off plan, said he suspected the problem was not the council’s fault.
He said: “If they’re stuck on because of an electricity board fault we’re not paying for them.
“Street lights are not metered, we pay by the type of light and the hours they’re supposed to be on.
“Because they’re not supposed to be on all the time, we don’t pay the extra.”
The council is currently consulting on which of its 51,000 lights will be turned-off.
Clr Sheard said they would be trying different areas of Kirklees and said the trial would start in February.
The plan was unanimously agreed by councillors last year as part of an efficiency drive to protect taxpayers from being stung by carbon emission fines.
About 2,000 lights will be switched off from midnight, except in mid-winter when they will be turned back on at 5am until dawn.
The Labour man has also dismissed claims that the move would increase crime.
Speaking last year, he said: “Quite a few places in this country and America have started turning off street lights.
“In nearly all these places, crime has fallen because the lights haven’t been on to allow criminals to see what they’re doing.
“Anti-social behaviour has also been reduced, because young people tend to hang around under street lights.”
Replacing sensors in each of the 2,000 lights will cost £60,000 but the switch-off will cut the council’s annual electricity bill by £19,000.
The council also intends to replace 5,000 of the old orange-coloured street lights with more energy-efficient white ones.
The move will cost £395,000 but will save Kirklees between £104,000 and £182,000 a year in electricity use and maintenance costs.
Officials hope the changes will help Kirklees cut its carbon emissions by 40% by 2020.
Street lights in Kirklees use 11,840 tonnes of carbon a year – 35% of the council’s total.
The council must pay a carbon reduction commitment tax of £12 per tonne – a total of £140,000 a year.
But this tax will rise to £30 a tonne by 2020.