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Councillors to look into options for reducing the cost of running South Kesteven street lights

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South Kesteven District councillors will set up a working committee in January to look into ways of reducing the district’s energy bill.

Members of the Environment Overview and Scrutiny Committee were due to discuss different street lighting options during their public meeting this morning.

A number of options have been explored to reduce the current energy bill and carbon footprint, and also potentially the cost of the maintenance contract. One option to be looked at is installing LED lighting which is estimated will save approximately 83 per cent on the energy bill and reduce the energy bill from £121,000 to approximately £20,570.

This morning chairman Coun Mike Exton recommended that all the options proposed are discussed in more detail during a working group session, which will only be open to council members.

It was recommended to members “That the Environment Overview & Scrutiny Committee considers the options and

propose a working group be convened to consider the options in more detail.”

Coun Nick Craft said: “I came to this meeting prepared to discuss street lighting. I want the meeting (working group) to be in public and not behind closed doors.”

Coun Ashley Baxter, who is proposing several different options that do not involve turning the lights off at night, said: “I am disappointed that all the options recommend switching streetlights off across the district, between midnight and 5.30. I believe that such a decision would be unpopular, unsafe, unnecessary and contrary to the best interests of residents across South Kesteven.”

After the recommendation was passed, Coun Nick Craft described the meeting as ‘farcical’ and left.

Once the working group has considered the options in detail, it will bring its findings back to the scrutiny committee.

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