Colehill residents urge council to switch streetlights back on
ELDERLY residents in Colehill want Dorset County Council to switch their streetlights back on because they are afraid emergency services could struggle to find their homes in the dark.
Street lighting across much of the county is being switched off at around midnight as part of the council's drive to cut costs by reducing energy bills.
Janet Dover, Dorset county councillor for Colehill and Stapehill, has forwarded the authority a petition signed by 25 residents who live in Rotary Close.
The petition asks for the streetlights, which have been switched off at night since June this year, to be turned back on.
Thinking of buying a new computer for Christmas?
Save 10% on all Windows 7 Custom Built Desktop Computer Packages. Gaming PC's, Media Centres & More!!
Windows Desktops Only, Purchased before 12/12/13.
Package Includes Tower, Screen, Keyboard & Mouse.
Domestic Customers Only
Contact: 0845 0177033
Valid until: Thursday, December 12 2013
The residents, who are mainly elderly, say they frequently have to call out doctors and ambulances at night and are worried that, with the lights turned off, emergency vehicles and personnel may be delayed in finding the correct address.
Rotary Close is surrounded by trees which make visibility very poor at night.
Councillor Dover said: "I am very sympathetic to the residents' concerns. I know Rotary Close very well and, although the trees make a lovely environment in the daytime, they do make this cul-de-sac very dark at night with the streetlights turned off. It is important that emergency vehicles can quickly find the homes of people that they have been called to help.
"I believe that residents would be happier even if there was just one streetlight that could be left switched on at the very minimum."
As the petition has more than 20 signatures it will be considered at the meeting of the council's Environment Overview Committee at County Hall, Dorchester on Tuesday 1st October when councillor Dover will put the residents' case for consideration by members.
Dorset Police says there is no indication that the countywide streetlight switch off has resulting in a rise in crime.
Latest figures show that crime in Dorset is at a 15-year low – with total crime down 11 per cent on last year.
Deputy Chief Constable, James Vaughan, said: "We do understand that people can feel less safe when streetlights are off and we will continue to work together with partners to monitor crime levels. Dorset County Council has agreed to reconsider street lighting in cases where crime is seen to increase or where there are local crime and disorder issues that need particular focus."