Town council seeking support in street-light fightback

Councillor Paul Bullen

Councillor Paul Bullen - Credit: Archant

St Ives Town Council will ask other town and parish councils in Huntingdonshire to support its stand on street lighting, after being given a final chance to make a case for Cambridgeshire County Council to reconsider the switch-off.

The decision comes after Councillor Paul Bullen, who represents the town on the county council, previously failed to get the issue readdressed by the county because not enough councillors signed a motion.

“The only way to change it is to get 24 members of the council to sign a motion,” he said at a meeting of the town council on May 19.

“I did put a motion forward [previously] but only got 19 signatures, so we couldn’t do that at the last meeting. I’m still trying and currently have 20 signatures but if can’t get 24 then the [county] council will not reconsider it.”

Street lights in residential roads around St Ives are currently switched off between 2am and 6am, following cost-cutting measures introduced by the county council.

The town council was given the chance to take on the cost of keeping the lights on through the night but councillors decided the authority could not afford the additional cost, which worked out at about £13,000 per year.

The new proposal from the town council hopes to get more councillors from around Huntingdonshire to sign the motion, amid rising fears over safety, security and even the town’s economy if the switch-off is not reconsidered.

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Town councillor Nick Dibben said: “There were concerns raised previously that were about the economy. There are people whose jobs depend on being out and about at unsociable hours and they are finding it difficult.”

Earlier this year, St Ives Town Council asked Cambridgeshire County Council and

Huntingdonshire District Council for a review into how turning off street lights would impact the town.

The county council has since replied, with the results due to be heard at the next town meeting in June.