What a dim idea…

The Tab challenges the council on its decision to turn off street lighting in Leamington

Warwickshire Council turns off lights in Leamington

In an attempt to save £500,000 from the Warwickshire District Area’s energy bill a year, the council is placing students at risk.  It is common knowledge that in times of austerity, cuts have to be made.  This does not however excuse an inconsistent lighting policy.

Lights are switched off between midnight and 5.30am Sunday to Thursday.  On Fridays and Saturdays however, lights switch off at 1:00am.  The lights are kept on later for a reason – principally safety.  A spokesman for the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents said: “The presence of lighting not only reduces the risk of traffic accidents but also their severity.” There is also the added issue that walking home after a night out in the dark is not only disconcerting, but some studies show that it is associated with higher crime levels.

The question that I raised with the council is why they only have extended lighting on Fridays and Saturdays since most students actually go out on weekdays.  I requested a comment from the council on this specific issue, but they were evasive and replied with mere platitudes.

Leamington benefits greatly from the student community. My part-time job involves me approaching local businesses and very often we get onto the issue of students.  Without exception, they are positive and stress the economic importance of us being here.  Why then has the council overlooked such an important demographic?  In the Cross Party County Councillor Task and Finish Group report, students are mentioned once – but in the section of how to improve communication!

We need to demand weekday lighting during term time and not accept the Council’s evasiveness, hiding behind excessively long terminology.


Why can the council not answer a simple question?